Top ranked West Delaware claimed it’s first state baseball championship as the Hawks downed third ranked and defending state champion Cedar Rapids Xavier 8-0. Junior B.J. Hermsen tossed a two hitter for the Hawks, the only hits he surrendered in two victories at the tournament. Hemsen says, “It feels really great.”
Xavier had outscored its opponents 58-1 in the post-season but the Saints were shutdown by Hermsen who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Standout first baseman Nate Woods finished 0-3. Woods says Hermsen is a good pitcher, but they put too much pressure on themselves and didn’t get it done. Wood says thought that Hermsen is a very fine pitcher.
Third ranked Urbandale won its second state title as the J-Hawks edged second rated Davenport Central 4-2 to win the 4A title. The J-Hawks took advantage of a dropped fly ball and scored three unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth to break a 1-1 tie.
Urbandale pitcher Brad Watson says they capitalized on the mistakes, and says that’s what their team is built on, not just one player, a whole team of 23. Watson says he had confidence that the whole team would get it done and “All we had to do was just pitch our butts off, and we did that.”
Watson allowed only one hit in the final three and two thirds innings to earn the victory. The J-Hawks were beaten by West Des Moines Valley 16-1 in the opening round of the 2006 tournament and came into this season looking for redemption. Watson says they were very disappointed by the performance last year and set winning the title as their goal.
Urbandale coach Denny Barton says it was not his most talented team he’s had but it was his best. Barton says as a team they have 37 wins and five of the eight losses came by one or two runs. Barton says the 2000 team got them over the hump, “So you don’t have to go to bed at night thinking I might never win one.”
Top ranked Cherokee got by seventh ranked Davenport Assumption 5-4 to win the 2A crown and third rated Iowa Mennonite won its first state baseball title with a 10-0 victory over tenth rated Remsen St. Mary’s 10-0 in the 1A championship.