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Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association Rankings: Iowa City High, Cedar Rapids Prairie earn highest rankings
Both teams were unbeaten last week and are second in 4A with 21 victories each
Iowa City High and Cedar Rapids Prairie produced perfect stretches last week.
The Little Hawks went 4-0, while Prairie swept three doubleheaders.
Both moved up four spots to earn their highest rankings in the latest Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association poll released this week. The Little Hawks have soared to second and Prairie has climbed to fifth in Class 4A. Both are tied for second in the class with 21 victories, three back of top-ranked Johnston.
“Overall, we have remained consistent,” City High Coach Brian Mitchell said. “We have had some big wins against good pitchers. We have to learn to finish off doubleheaders to help us reach higher levels, however.”
City High split with 3A No. 5 Cedar Rapids Xavier Monday at Mercer Park in Iowa City, moving to 21-7 overall. The Little Hawks topped the Saints, 6-5, when Alex Knudtson’s sacrifice fly to center field scored Joey Bouska in the bottom of the seventh.
They swept Dubuque Senior and Linn-Mar last week, despite missing Gavin Koch and Jake Mitchell to injury and John Klosterman, an Iowa State football signee who is in Ames. A strong nucleus of players, like Gable Mitchell, Cade Obermueller, Joey Bouska and other contributors have helped the Little Hawks overcome some mid-season adversity.
“In our sweeps last week we really had to dig deep,” Mitchell said. “Not one game was easy, but we really have started to relearn our identity without Koch and Klosterman in the lineup. Gable has had to step up on the back end more, and we have found ways to consistently put pressure on the opponent’s defense. That is the key to our success.”
Prairie opened this week with a doubleheader sweep of Waterloo West, improving to 21-6. The Hawks have won eight straight games, sweeping 3A No. 6 Dubuque Wahlert and Westside rival Cedar Rapids Jefferson on the road and Pleasant Valley at home midweek.
“It was a good week for us,” Prairie Coach James Nelson said. “We won six games.”
In 3A, Xavier and Western Dubuque flip-flopped positions from the previous rankings. The Bobcats jumped to third from fifth and the Saints dropped two spots. Independence remained eighth and Wamac Conference foe Clear Creek Amana sits in ninth.
The first six teams in 2A remain the same from a week ago, including third-ranked Cascade and No. 5 Dyersville Beckman. Mid-Prairie continues to occupy eighth.
Lansing Kee and North Linn are the lone area teams in the 1A rankings. Kee has been a top-five team all season and comes in at No. 4 for the second straight week.
The Lynx are close to clinching the Tri-Rivers Conference West Division title, leading by two with four games left. They are ranked sixth.
Johnston (4A), Van Meter (2A) and Remsen St. Mary’s (1A) retained their No. 1 rankings. The only change at the top came in 3A. Davenport Assumption ascended to first, bumping previous No. 1 Grinnell to second.
Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association rankings
2. Iowa City High
3. West Des Moines Dowling
5. Cedar Rapids Prairie
7. Cedar Falls
9. Waukee Northwest
10. West Des Moines Valley
Others receiving votes: Ankeny Centennial, Dubuque Hempstead, Indianola, Pleasant Valley, Southeast Polk.
1. Davenport Assumption
3. Western Dubuque
4. Council Bluffs Lewis Central
5. Cedar Rapids Xavier
6. Dubuque Wahlert
7. Adel ADM
9. Clear Creek Amana
10. North Polk
Others receiving votes: Gilbert, Marion, Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Sioux City Heelan, West Delaware.
1. Van Meter
2. Estherville-Lincoln Central
5. Dyersville Beckman
6. Dike-New Hartford
7. West Marshall
Others receiving votes: Anamosa, Davis County, Des Moines Christian, Monticello, Waterloo Columbus.
1. Remsen St. Mary’s
2. Mason City Newman
3. New London
4. Lansing Kee
5. Don Bosco
6. North Linn
7. Ankeny Christian
8. Coon Rapids-Bayard
10. Anita CAM
Others receiving votes: Highland, Lynnville-Sully, South Winneshiek, Tri-Center, Woodbury Central.