116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Mississippi Valley Conference is one of the strongest and deepest large-school baseball conferences in Iowa.
The final Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 3A and 4A polls serve as proof.
Six MVC programs were in the final installment of the IHSBCA rankings released this week. Two more received votes, putting half of the conference in the top 15 of their respective classes. Among the ranked MVC teams are Mississippi Division champion Cedar Rapids Xavier and Iowa City High, which had a chance to clinch the Valley Division Tuesday night at Waterloo West.
The Little Hawks moved to the No. 2 spot in 4A for the second time this season, while the Saints are fifth in 3A.
“I think it’s really strong this year,” Xavier Coach Dan Halter said about the MVC. “We’ve faced several (NCAA Division I) pitchers and our schedule was pretty back loaded with a lot of the teams at the top of the league.
“You also notice there’s a lot of coaching continuity in our league, so programs are established and you know what you’re getting. I think all of us are well-prepared for the postseason.”
Xavier has been in the top six all season, moving up one spot from a week ago. The Saints are 25-10 overall and 22-6 in the conference, entering the regular-season finale at 4A No. 3 and MVC Valley Division co-leader Cedar Rapids Prairie. Xavier clinched the Mississippi Division with a 9-4 victory in the nightcap of a doubleheader split against 3A sixth-ranked Western Dubuque, which started the week just one game back of City High and Prairie.
The Saints won their third title in the last five seasons and first since 2019.
“Very proud of our guys,” Halter said. “The MVC is always a grind and these few couple weeks we’ve seen several really good arms. Especially when you get in these six-plus game weeks, guys have to bring it every day.”
City High reclaimed 4A’s second spot after a seven-game win streak. The Little Hawks extended the stretch with a 4-3 victory over 4A 10th-ranked Urbandale and a 14-7 triumph against host No. 6 Waukee Northwest on Saturday. Cade Obermueller earned the win, striking out 10 and allowing just one hit in 4 2/3 innings pitched against Urbandale.
Gable Mitchell paced City High with seven hits, including a 5-for-5, four-RBI and three-run performance against Waukee Northwest. Alex Knudtson had four hits and two RBIs against the Wolves. Joey Bouska had four total hits.
Cedar Falls is eighth in the final rankings. Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Dubuque Hempstead both received votes. The Mustangs were ranked earlier this season.
Dubuque Wahlert leads the MVC teams in 3A. The returning state finalist is fourth before Friday’s postseason opener.
West Delaware is seventh, defending state champion Marion is eighth and Independence closed the regular season at No. 9 in 3A.
The top-ranked teams in all four classes are Johnston (4A), Council Bluffs Lewis Central (3A), Van Meter (2A) and Remsen St. Mary’s (1A).
Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association final rankings
2. Iowa City High
3. Cedar Rapids Prairie
5. Ankeny Centennial
6. Waukee Northwest
7. West Des Moines Dowling
8. Cedar Falls
9. Pleasant Valley
Others receiving votes: Ankeny, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Dubuque Hempstead, North Scott, West Des Moines Valley.
1. Lewis Central
2. Davenport Assumption
4. Dubuque Wahlert
5. Cedar Rapids Xavier
6. Western Dubuque
7. West Delaware
10. North Polk
Others receiving votes: Ballard, Clear Creek Amana, Dallas Center-Grimes, Sioux City Heelan, Webster City.
2. Estherville-Lincoln Central
4. Dyersville Beckman
6. West Marshall
7. Dike-New Hartford
10. Des Moines Christian
Others receiving votes: Davis County, Mediapolis, Mid-Prairie, Roland-Story, Waterloo Columbus.
1.Remsen St. Mary’s
2. Mason City Newman
3. New London
4. Lansing Kee
5. Don Bosco
6. North Linn
7. Coon Rapids-Bayard
8. Anita CAM
9. Ankeny Christian
Others receiving votes: Highland, Lisbon, Lynnville-Sully, Mount Ayr, Woodbury Central.