IOWA CITY — When the prep baseball substate assignments were released June 14, Class 4A No. 7 Linn-Mar and No. 10 Iowa City High were included in the same six-team group.
In their only matchup of the regular season Friday at Mercer Park, both teams were aware a No. 1 seed was likely on the line.
“I would think that we would be No. 1 after that,” Linn-Mar Coach Kyle Rodenkirk said after the Lions swept City High, 2-0 and 7-6, in a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader. “It was tight coming in to tonight, so tonight was a pretty pivotal doubleheader.”
Linn-Mar (20-5, 17-3 MVC) was sparked in Game 1 by senior infielder Michael Weiss, who posted an RBI single in the fourth inning, then brought home a second run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth for a 2-0 Lions victory.
After getting just 24 at-bats last season, Weiss now leads the Lions with 23 RBIs as a full-time starter.
“It is more getting into a groove, honestly,” Weiss said. “Last year, never knew when you were going to get an at-bat, it was more spontaneous. So now just knowing I am going to get an at-bat every night, it is easy to get in a groove and see the ball a little bit better, as well.”
Weiss will play college baseball in the fall at Division-III Augsburg University in Minneapolis. Immense infield versatility — evidenced by starting assignments this season at second base, shortstop and third base — likely helped make the 6-2 Weiss an attractive prospect to the Auggies.
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“He is doing a good job,” Rodenkirk said. “He is a cage rat. He is always in the cage. He is always working on different things. It is starting to pay off. The hard work in the offseason and even during the season is really starting to pay off. It is good to see that when the kids are getting success.”
Linn-Mar senior Greg Hall pitched five scoreless innings in the opener for his second win on the mound this season. Senior Mark Rodenberg helped the Lions to a 7-2 lead in the nightcap with a two-run single in a four-run fourth inning.
A two-run double by City High senior Zachary Kuepker helped the Little Hawks (18-8, 12-8) rally with four runs in the final frame, only to fall by one.
AT MERCER PARK
Class 4A No. 7 Linn-Mar 2-7, No. 10 Iowa City High 0-6
Linn-Mar 000 101 0—2 5 2
City High 000 000 0—0 5 3
W — Greg Hall (2-0); L — Brady Herzic (5-1); SV — Eli Scott (1).
Linn-Mar 204 000 1—7 5 0
City High 000 200 4—6 5 1
W — Peyton Weber (4-1); L — Jay Kennedy (0-1).
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