CEDAR RAPIDS — Timely hits and good pitching are a good formula for baseball success.
Cedar Rapids Washington made the most out of its hits, despite being outhit by Marion.
Two of the Warriors’ three hits led to runs and Gunnar Bosking provided a strong outing for a 3-1 victory over Marion in the semifinals of the Bob Vrbicek Metro baseball tournament Tuesday night at Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Ken Charipar Field. The Warriors advance to the championship against Linn-Mar Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Stadium, starting at 7 p.m.
The Warriors improved their hitting in the clutch from a year ago.
“We had a lot of guys stranded last year,” Washington Coach Scott Brune said. “This year, so far, we’ve come up with the timely hits, two-out hits.”
Bosking was impressive. He didn’t face more than five batters in an inning. Bosking, who was 5-3 and only struck out one more batter than he walked last year, finished with five strikeouts and didn’t allow a walk.
“From his sophomore year to now, he has come so far,” Brune said of Bosking. “He’s a guy that will put in the work. He’s worked tirelessly in the offseason and it shows.”
Washington (2-0) made the most of the few hits it managed against Marion starter Rick Atkins. The Warriors’ first two hits led to runs, and they only left three runners on base the entire game.
Drew Dostal stepped to the plate after Trey Leonard walked, Brady Bunten was hit by a pitch and both advanced to third and second, respectively. Dostal punched a single up the middle of a drawn-in infield, driving in Leonard and Bunten to break a scoreless game in the fourth.
“Drew Dostal had a phenomenal at-bat,” Brune said. “He squared one up with two strikes and two outs. It gave us the momentum.”
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The following inning Cade Saylor hit a two-out double just beyond the reach of a diving right fielder to score Luke Jonasson for a 3-0 lead.
Marion (1-1) rallied for one in the sixth. Baylor Fish hit a one-out double and moved to third on Parker Ridge’s single. Pinch runner Austin Prier stole second and Fish scored during the Warriors’ effort for a strikeout/throw out double play to end the inning. Saylor made a diving catch in right field on Chase Zielke’s liner, ending the threat.
“Cade Saylor had a big hit with an RBI,” Brune said. “He also made a run-saving catch in right field.”
Marion rallied in the seventh, getting consecutive singles from Owen Carstensen and Trevor Paulsen with one out. Bosking gave way to reliever Dostal with Blair Brooks up as the go-ahead run.
Dostal closed the game with a strikeout and groundout for the save.
“Coming in, these guys had some lofty goals,” Brune said. “This is one of them, competing for a Metro title. From there on, we’ll go game by game.”
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