Prep Baseball

Mount Mercy's new baseball field helps out Jefferson and Washington

J-Hawks sweep Warriors in doubleheader

Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s Chase Keeney (20) runs under a fly ball before pulling it in for an out during the second inning of their high school baseball game at Cedar Rapids Washington in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Jun. 25, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s Chase Keeney (20) runs under a fly ball before pulling it in for an out during the second inning of their high school baseball game at Cedar Rapids Washington in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Jun. 25, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The baseball diamond at Mount Mercy University’s Robert W. Plaster Athletic Complex is tremendous.

The all-artificial turf surface looks beautiful. The LED lights illuminate things at a professional baseball level.

And it’s available for emergency purposes, as it was Thursday night.

The fields at Cedar Rapids Jefferson and Cedar Rapids Washington are water logged. Yeah, go figure.

So the schools rented ‘The Plaster,’ if you will, so they could finally get their twice-postponed prep games played. Jefferson swept the doubleheader Thursday night, 6-1 and 7-1.

“Facility wise, you can’t beat it,” said Jefferson Activities Director Chris Deam. “This is phenomenal.”

Deam said Mount Mercy charged $340 for the doubleheader, with the university getting to keep all gate receipts and concessions dollars. Fans were charged $5 for entry Thursday.

With Jefferson’s field still iffy and a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader scheduled Friday against against Dubuque Hempstead, Deam said he inquired with the brand-new Prospect Meadows facility in Marion about its availability, but was told it’s not quite ready for play.

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He said he hopes the season-opening Bob Vrbicek Metro Tournament might someday be played at Prospect Meadows.

“How cool would it be to have four games going on at once?” he said.

There aren’t many teams, especially around here, who can bring a one-two pitching punch like Jefferson’s Chase Keeney and Jon Cross, and they both were terrific here. Lefty Keeney allowed an unearned run in the first inning, brought home via Joe McKinstry RBI single, but gave up nothing from there, finishing with a two-hitter.

Right-hander Cross struck out 10 in five innings in the nightcap, allowing just a long infield scratch single to Draedan Spang. Ozzie Meiborg finished things up.

Keeney had two RBIs in Game 2. Jefferson (4-1) had just three hits but was ultra aggressive on the basepaths in both games, actually.

Washington is 2-3, with all three losses coming to the J-Hawks.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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