July 29, 2015

Boone takes advantage after rain delay, Waukee avoids upset at state baseball tourney

A the state baseball tournament, a new day brought a fresh start and Boone took advantage in class 3A. Trailing Sergeant Bluff-Luton 1-0 after an inning and a half when the game was halted by rain on Tuesday night, the Toreadors scored runs in the second, third and fourth innings to take the lead for good in a 9-1 victory.

Boone pushed across the tying run moments after the game resumed. Jake Mallas pitched two innings on Tuesday night before play was halted. He came back to finish the job and gave up only five hits to get the win.

Sergeant Bluff-Luton coach Rick Admire says Boone took advantage of its opportunities. The loss brought Admire’s career to an end. He is retiring after 36 years in coaching.

Class 4A

Matt Mullenbach rescued top-ranked Waukee. The senior finished the game with four RBI, including a two run game winning triple in the bottom of the seventh as the Warriors rallied for a 6-5 win over North Scott in the class 4A opener.

Waukee was playing without three of its top players who were suspended for the tournament for a violation of team rules.

Waukee avoided a second straight opening round upset at the tournament as the top seed. North Scott scored in the top of the first and led nearly the entire game. But the Lancers failed to shut the door in the final inning. The Lancers end the season with a record of 20-21.


Roland-Story, Waverly-Shell Rock win 2A quarterfinals

The Class 2A quarterfinal round at the state baseball tournament is finally complete. Jacob Jones tossed a two-hitter and struck out seven as Davis County blanked Roland-Story 6-0. The start of the game was delayed by rain and there was another half-an-hour delay midway through the second inning.

Roland-Story closed out the season with a record of 25-15 and coach Chris Hill says he was proud of a senior class that was a part of three consecutive trips to the tournament.

Alex Robson gave up only two hits in six innings of work as second ranked Waverly-Shell Rock blanked Vinton-Shellsburg 6-0 in a class 3A quarterfinal.

Waverly-Shell Rock broke through in the bottom of the second by scoring an unearned run and Robson says that gave him a shot of confidence.

Vinton-Shellsburg closes the season with a 25-17 record and Struve says the future of the program is bright.

Heavy rains cause delays at state baseball tournament

It was worth the wait for top ranked Cascade. The Cougars survived a solid effort by upset minded Mediapolis and a five-hour rain delay to post a 5-2 victory in a class 2A quarterfinal round game. It is the program’s first-ever win at the state tournament.

“To sit around for about five hours and not get something done…you got guys in there falling asleep…it was certainly worth the wait, there’s not doubt about it,” Cascade coach Roamn Hummel said.

It was Cascade’s fourth trip to the state tournament and the first time they came away with a win. Hummel said it is huge to get that win after having great success in the program, but never winning in the tournament. Hummel hopes the pressure will be off after getting that elusive first win.

Mediapolis coach Gary Sharp says the Bulldogs just tried to rest and get some focus during the rain delay. The Bulldogs close out their first-ever trip to the tournament with a 21-10 record.

Columbus Catholic starter Luke Farley struck out ten to help the Sailors down the Hinton Blackhawks 3-0 after a three-run 4th inning. Clear Lake starting pitcher Brock Adams only allowed three baserunners after the second inning on his way to a complete-game shutout as the sixth ranked Lions beat Treynor Cardinals 5-0 in quarterfinals of the Class 2A tournament.

Because of Monday’s rain delay the fourth 2A quarterfinal matching Davis County and Roland-Story has been moved to nine this morning. It will be on to the 3A quarterfinals…. #2 Waverly-Shell Rock will play Vinton Shellsburg. Boone plays Sergeant Bluff Lluton, 7th ranked Harlan battles Dubuque Wahlert and top-ranked Pella meets Dallas Center-Grimes.

Cascade makes it into the 2A title game

Cascade and 10th ranked Iowa City Regina will collide for the class 2A title at the state softball tournament. Cascade scored four runs in the first and two more in the second in a 6-2 win over IKM-Manning.

“Defensively you have to play and make the plays you need to make and that was hug for us,” Cascade coach Ken Weber said. He says they got some timely hits to go along with the defense and it was a great team effort.

Cascade takes a 24-10 record into its first championship game appearance. He says he had preached patience in the program and says it is paying off now with the girls who have come through the program.

Cascade’s only other trip to Fort Dodge was back in 1994. Iowa City Regina beat top ranked Fort Dodge St. Edmond 4-1 to reach the title game.

(Reporting by Jon Swisher KMCH Manchester)

Missouri Valley Conference renews TV contract with ESPN

The Missouri Valley Conference has signed a ten-year extension to its media rights deal with ESPN that will include increased exposure on the network’s on-line platform ESPN3. MVC Commissioner Doug Elgin says the new deal will lead to more than 800 Valley events being produced on an annual basis. Elgin says they’ve had 7 or 8 different contracts with ESPN through the years and this one allows many more sports to get some exposure — especially the Olympic sports.

Elgin says the new deal will have no impact on local and regional television deals for Missouri Valley basketball as he says outside the 5-state footprint, ESPN3 will still carry the games.

Drake University Associate Dean David Wright says the new deal also opens up educational opportunities because the on-line content will rely heavily on student run productions.


Mason City Newman returns to 1A baseball tourney

Mason City Newman is no stranger to Principal Park and the top ranked Knights will make their 8th straight trip to the state baseball tournament on Friday when they take on Gladbrook-Reinbeck in the class 1A opener. Newman coach Tony Adams says the biggest adjustment is the size of the outfield in the triple-A stadium.

Adams says the biggest question for the teams playing on Friday night will be who is available to pitch? It will be only two days between the substate final and the opening round of the state tournament. He says that quick turnaround makes it hard to have the number 1 guy go, but they are fortunate to have a good stable of pitchers.

Adams says he does not know much about Gladbrook-Reinbeck and says that is fairly common in the first round of the state tournament. He says they always worry about what they do and that should give them a chance.

The other first round matchup on Friday will feature a pair of rated teams as fifth ranked Martensdale-St. Marys takes on number-six Coon Rapids-Bayard.

Iowa Conference adding a Nebraska school

The Iowa Conference is expanding beyond the borders of the state. Nebraska Wesleyan will become the ninth member of the 93-year-old league. Nebraska Wesleyan has been a part of the Great Plains Athletic Conference since it was founded in 1969 as the Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Conference but has maintained a dual membership in the NAIA as well as NCAA Division III.

Iowa Conference Commissioner Chuck Yrigoyen says the league began to seriously consider expansion after Cornell College left in 2012 to join the Midwest Conference. “This was a time when we all felt most comfortable with a serious discussion about adding a school,” Yrigoyen says.

Yrigoyen says the league will work to alleviate the additional travel that will come with the addition of Nebraska Wesleyan. He says they will work on the scheduling and financial aspects of adding them to the conference. Yrigoyen says the addition of Nebraska Wesleyan is part of an overall strategic plan for the conference that could include a name change. “Clearly the name of the conference will be on the horizon. Sometimes these strategic plans come with a branding or rebranding element, and we will probably discuss that as well,” Yrigoyen says.

The loss of Nebraska Wesleyan leaves the GPAC with ten members who compete in men’s and women’s sports as well as the College of Saint Mary, which offers eight womens sports.

GPAC Commissioner Corey Westra says they are still in great shape, though he says it is a loss. He says Nebraska Wesleyan’s dual membership in the NAIA and NCAA Division III will allow them to make an immediate transition.

Westra admits the move by Nebraska Wesleyan came as a surprise. “Although I will say over the years as things have changed in conference affiliation around the country I think we had a sense if the Iowa Conference ever wanted to change their charter to go outside the Iowa borders, Nebraska Wesleyan was certainly going to be a target,” Westra says.