PEOSTA — Iowa City West baseball coach Charlie Stumpff said he received a postseason feel Friday.
If anyone knows, it would be Stumpff, who has led 11 teams to the state tournament with five trips to the Class 4A final. He also recognized a postseason-like performance from the Trojans.
Third-ranked West recorded its two biggest wins of the season, sweeping No. 2 Western Dubuque, 5-4 and 5-1, in a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader Friday night at A.J. Spiegel Park. The Trojans notched their sixth straight victory.
“There was a little bit of a tournament intensity,” Stumpff said. “All the stuff you need to do in the big park when you’re playing a (state) tournament game, because you’re always going to see good pitching. I’m very pleased with how we responded like that.”
The Trojans (20-5, 15-5) executed a little bit of everything in the opener. Chase Calderwood gave West its first lead with a squeeze bunt that scored Marcus Morgan for a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Ryan Cooper’s sacrifice fly chased in Nick Biancuzzo for a run in the fifth. Throw in an RBI groundout from Ben Madden, a run off a balk and Bobcat error and the Trojans did a lot of the little things to be successful.
“We got a squeeze in, we got a hit-and-run and didn’t strike out as much as we have,” Stumpff said. “We put the ball in play.”
West used a team effort to capture the first game. Five different batters scored and Biancuzzo had multiple hits for the Trojans in Game 1.
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The Trojans received solid pitching performances in both games. Noah Aanestad and Alex Swack threw a little more than three innings apiece, scattering five hits, before Ryan Cooper came in to strike out the final batter and quash the Bobcats’ two-run rally in the seventh.
Aanestad and Swack combined for nine strikeouts.
“Noah has really good stuff and when Noah’s throwing strikes, and he was today, he’s got more than enough stuff,” Stumpff said. “Swack is a strike machine. He throws a lot of curveballs and he can command them. He has enough of a fastball. He did real well.
“Coop closed last year. He looked real sharp there.”
In the nightcap, West scored twice in the second, receiving an RBI infield single from Cooper, who had two singles. The Trojans parlayed three Western Dubuque errors into three runs in the sixth for a 5-0 lead.
Casey Marvin threw six scoreless three-hit innings for the victory. He out-dueled Calvin Harris, who was pitching with an injured finger on his throwing hand. Harris still managed to strike out 10 in 5 2/3 innings.
Harris had two hits and an RBI in the twinbill to lead Western Dubuque (21-5, 16-4). Damon Jaeger had two RBIs overall and Kyle Lehmann and Ben Bryant had a hit and RBI in the opener for the Bobcats.
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