116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Iowa City High baseball coach Brian Mitchell had no idea what to expect.
Sure, his Little Hawks had been playing well of late, winning six of seven games this week headed into last night’s twinbill against No. 7 Cedar Rapids Prairie, which had opened the season winning 12 of its first 13.
No matter how optimistic Mitchell might have been coming in, even he was amazed at the results.
In the opener, junior John Klosterman tossed a three-hitter and added three hits as the Little Hawks rolled to a 10-0 win in six innings.
Then sophomore Alex Knudtson was even more brilliant in the nightcap, tossing a complete-game one-hitter, as City High completed the sweep with a 5-0 victory.
“Our pitching has been fantastic, but to get what we got from those two tonight was above and beyond,” Mitchell said. “(Prairie) has a great offensive lineup, they run really well, they’ve got some pop, but we really did a great job of attacking the zone.”
Klosterman was locked in a good battle with Prairie’s Jackson Nove in the opener. City High led 2-0 after five innings, scoring one in the third, thanks in large part to two Prairie errors, and one in fifth on a walk, a stolen base, a passed ball and an RBI single from Gable Mitchell.
Prairie removed Nove to start the sixth and the Little Hawks took advantage, scoring eight runs in the inning. The key blow was a three-run double from Gavin Koch.
Klosterman allowed a pair of hits in the first, then didn’t allow another until the bottom of the sixth.
“John has a lot of confidence,” Coach Mitchell said. “He kept battling throughout and he really knows how to mix his pitches.”
Knudtson was a more unlikely hero in Game 2. Mitchell said he really didn’t know until Thursday that he was going to give his talented sophomore the nod. He allowed a one-out single to Prairie’s Collin Forslund in the first, then retired the final 19 hitters he faced.
“He just keeps getting better and better,” Mitchell said of Knudtson. “He’s getting more confident and he’s got good stuff. I was impressed with the way he really, really competed tonight.”
City High had just five hits in Game 2, but one was a two-run homer from Klosterman in the fourth.
Egan Smith’s two-out, 2-RBI single in the sixth provided some insurance runs for the Little Hawks (10-4, 9-1 MVC).
The losses were Prairie’s first against MVC competition. Coach James Nelson’s team now sits at 12-3, 8-2 in the MVC.