Prep Baseball

Slow start too much for Mid-Prairie against West Lyon in state baseball quarterfinals

Wildcats score first 5 runs without a hit, advance with 13-3 win in 6 innings

DES MOINES — Mid-Prairie’s early struggles resulted in one big inning.

It also created a deficit too big to overcome.

The sixth-ranked Golden Hawks suffered some early pitching woes that allowed No. 9 West Lyon to score five runs and send 11 batters to the plate without a hit in the second inning and roll to a 13-3 victory in six innings in the Class 2A state baseball quarterfinals Monday at Principal Park.

“We got off to a rough start on the mound,” Mid-Prairie Coach Andy Greiner said. “I feel like you get off to a start like that it makes it even more difficult as the game progresses. I feel like it snowballed on us.”

The Wildcats took control with the big inning that opened with two hit batters followed by an error on a sacrifice bunt to load the bases.

Zach Van Beek drew the first of four bases-loaded walks in the inning. Josh Van Beek, Easton Fleshman and Jalyn Gramstad also earned run-scoring walks. Gavin Lorenzen added a sacrifice fly.

West Lyon increased its lead with four in the third, getting a three-run double from Josh Van Beek. Jackson Kramer’s two-run triple in the fourth put the Wildcats up 11-0.

“We just came out slow,” Mid-Prairie’s Aidan Rath said. “We still kept fighting, but games like this just happen.”

Greiner admitted that nerves may have played a factor. Mid-Prairie gave up 11 walks and plunked three batters. On the other hand, the Golden Hawks only managed three hits.

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“It’s hard to imagine that didn’t play a small part in it,” Greiner said. “We definitely looked out of sorts (Monday).”

The Golden Hawks tried to rally in the fourth. Rath walked to lead off the frame and scored on Monte Slabaugh’s sacrifice fly. Will Cavanaugh’s flyball dropped in shallow right center to score a pair.

Mid-Prairie had some comebacks in the past and entered the game fifth in 2A in runs scored. Gramstad (6-1) stifled any sustained threat, surrendering just two hits in four innings. Isaac Bruggeman added two innings of scoreless relief for West Lyon.

“We can always fight back and get into it,” said senior Brad Tornow, who had one of Mid-Prairie’s hits. “It just didn’t happen for us.”

The loss ended a strong campaign. Mid-Prairie finished 15-4 and reached the state tournament for the fifth time and first since 2007. Despite the result, seniors were able to end by experiencing a first.

“It’s amazing just seeing how far we have come in the five years and how much success we’re going to have in the future,” Tornow said. “These guys coming back are really good and special.”

West Lyon (15-3) advances to the semifinals against defending state champion and top-ranked Van Meter on Thursday. The Bulldogs (21-2) escaped Treynor’s attempt to be the second No. 8 seed to win in this year’s quarterfinals (Kingsley-Pierson upset Martensdale-St. Marys in 1A).

Jack Pettit’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth gave Van Meter a 1-0 walk-off victory. Anthony Potthoff and Zach Pleggenkuhle combined for a no-hitter for the Bulldogs.

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

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