Prep Baseball

Covering the bases: This week's top Eastern Iowa high school baseball performers and upcoming games

Monticello's big victory; Bockenstedt batters Waterloo West; Strunk drives in 9 with 2 HRs

Cedar Rapids Washington's Jacob Bockenstedt (12) drives a pitch for a hit during the first inning of their championship game in the 2018 Bob Vrbicek Metro Baseball Tournament at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May. 23, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Washington's Jacob Bockenstedt (12) drives a pitch for a hit during the first inning of their championship game in the 2018 Bob Vrbicek Metro Baseball Tournament at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May. 23, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Prep baseball is heating up with top-10 battles in all classes. The postseason pairings for Classes 2A and 1A were released this week. Classes 4A and 3A will know their postseason assignments this week. From standout performances to exciting finishes, here are a few of The Gazette-area highlights (not all) for the week of June 10-16 and a look at the upcoming schedule in “Covering the Bases.”

Monticello knocks off Regina

Monticello posted one of the biggest wins of the week. The Panthers scored twice in the top of the seventh and knocked off Class 2A second-ranked Iowa City Regina, 5-3. Jacob Manternach powered the Panthers with three RBIs. Kyle Sperfslage broke a 3-3 tie in the final frame, hitting an RBI double to score Andrew Mescher with the game-winning run. Manternach chased home Sperfslage with an RBI single for insurance.

Manternach opened the scoring with a two-run home run in the first, scoring Mescher, who hit a leadoff single. Avery Martensen added an RBI double in the sixth, tying the game and setting up the late heroics.

Ryan Manternach held the Regals to three runs on just three hits, improving to 4-0 this season.

“It was a great environment to compete in for our team,” Monticello Coach Josh Soper told The Gazette. “As a coach, I feel like a lot of growth occurred for our team. It was a back-and-forth game and we were fortunate to get some timely hits with runners in scoring position.

“Our kids once again showed their toughness to compete for all 21 outs.”

Jacob Manternach finished the week with eight hits, including two home runs, eight runs and six RBIs. He is hitting .431 with 22 hits, including 12 extra-base hits, and 17 RBIs.

“We have a lot of outstanding ballplayers on our team, but Jacob Manternach is something special,” Soper said. “There is never a moment too big for that kid.”

Bockenstedt's bat

Cedar Rapids Washington’s Jacob Bockenstedt gains more attention for his arm than his bat, but the Warriors senior showed he can be productive at the plate.

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Bockenstedt with 5-for-5 with six RBIs and scored twice in the first game of a doubleheader sweep of Waterloo West. He added three more hits, including two doubles, three RBIs and three runs in the nightcap. Washington won, 16-5 and 16-7.

Bockenstedt improved to 3-0 on the mound, throwing a complete-game four-hitter and striking out nine in a 7-2 victory over Cedar Rapids Kennedy on Thursday. Bockenstedt has struck out 39 in 28 innings and owns a 1.50 earned-run average.

Benton Bobcat combo

Benton Community duo Spencer Touro and Brady Sadler helped the Bobcats earn a doubleheader split with Wamac foe Williamsburg on Monday.

Touro (2-2) threw a complete-game shutout. The senior multisport standout struck out 10 batters and allowed only three hits in an 8-0 victory.

Sadler helped provided offensive support, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs. Sadler finished 5-for-8 with three RBIs and three runs overall.

Williamsburg won the nightcap, 7-6, rallying for three in the bottom of the seventh.

Jason Strunk powers up

Iowa City West’s Jason Strunk belted two home runs and drove in nine runs in the sixth-ranked Trojans' 17-0 victory over Waterloo East on Monday. He also hit a double, going 3-for-3.

Strunk also had four hits and two RBIs in a doubleheader split with No. 4 Cedar Rapids Prairie, giving him eight hits and 11 RBIs for the week.

Harrison Cook hits 2 homers

In that same Friday night doubleheader split with West, Prairie’s Harrison Cook had two home runs. Cook finished with three hits and four RBIs.

Cook has four home runs and 15 RBIs this season.

On deck

CASCADE'S GAUNTLET

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The 2A top-ranked Cascade Cougars have hit a challenging stretch to their schedule. Cascade remains one of two unbeaten area teams, improving to 18-0 with a 12-4 victory over No. 7 Dyersville Beckman on Friday at Commercial Club Park. The upcoming week doesn’t get any easier. Cascade travels to Regina on Monday and 1A No. 2 North Linn on Wednesday. The Cougars host 2A No. 3 Wilton on Thursday before playing at 1A ninth-ranked Don Bosco next Saturday.

“We don’t necessarily look crazy ahead to what we have, but we have four really good teams that are ranked in 1A and 2A,” Cascade Coach Roamn Hummel said. “We have a lot of good teams we are going to play next week. I think the way our guys are rolling and the confidence they have in themselves it is like keep playing, just keep going.”

CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE, TOO

Prairie also has a tough week. The Hawks open the week with home-and-home games with Cedar Rapids Washington, hosting Monday. On Wednesday, The Hawks host Cedar Rapids Jefferson in the Westside rivalry. Both Washington and Jefferson received votes in the latest Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association poll.

REGINA HEADS TO SOLON

In another matchup of ranked teams, 2A No. 2 Regina heads to Solon on Wednesday. The Spartans are ranked fifth in 3A.

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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