Undefeated and top-ranked Wilton downed Clarinda 5-0 in the opening round of the class 2-A state baseball tournament in Des Moines. Wilton Catcher Jeremy Weih , hit an r-b-i triple off the wall in the first and then hit a home run deep to left field with one man on in the third to give the Beavers a 3-0 lead. Weih says it was a fastball right down the middle of the plate. He says he didn’t think it was going to go out, and says “That’s definitely the farthest ball I’ve ever hit.” It was the first home run hit out of Principal Park, the Triple-A ballpark that’s the new home of the tournament.
Wilton Coach Jake Souhrada was impressed too. Souhrada says Weih is a pretty patient hitter who hasn’t been getting many good pitches. He says the massive home runs was “impressive.” Souhrada says it’s good to get the first win, to get the first game jitters out of the way. Wilton ran their record to 40-0, but Souhrada says they’ve haven’t let the win streak get to them. He says they just go about their business and their goal of winning a state title. He says the pressure is off now as everyone is equal once you get to state. Clarinda coach Rod Eberly saw his three pitchers combined to give up only three hits. He says if would have know they were only going to give up three hits and lose, he would have been pretty pleased. But Eberly says they just couldn’t string anything together. Clarinda finishes the season at 20-12.
North Polk broke open a close game with 8 runs in the top of the 7th inning to down Dyersville-Beckman 11-1 in another opening round game in Class 2-A. North Polk led 3-0 going into the bottom of the 6th. Dyersville-Beckman loaded the bases with no outs, scored a run on an error, but then hit into 5-2-3 double play to end the threat. North Polk coach Dave Middleton says the big defensive play was key. He says you get a little momentum and sometimes goofy things happen. He says it felt good against a good team. Middleton says he was close to pulling pitcher Nick Walter in the 6th. Walter says he’s glad the defense picked him up. He says that helped out because he says once they get momentum going, they hit the ball well. Beckman coach Tom Jenk says it was that play and others on defense that led to the loss. Jenk says you have to give North Polk credit for making the play, and says they could easily have throw the ball away on a previous throw to first but didn’t. He says North Polk made the plays and his team didn’t. North Polk is now 31-5 and Beckman closes out at 29-12.
Mason City Newman opened the door for Cherokee and the ninth ranked Braves walked through it. Cherokee took advantage of six Newman errors to post a 10-3 victory over the fifth rated Knights in a class 2A quarterfinal. First baseman Nate Gomez had three hits and drove in two runs for Cherokee and Jared Koch yielded five hits and struck out eight to earn his tenth victory. Gomez says they feel they’re in control with Koch on the mound as he never gives up more than two or three runs. Besides the miscues in the field Newman pitchers hit five Cherokee batters. Newman coach Tony Adams who says the Knights made too many mistakes to beat a team the quality of Cherokee. He says they had to play flawlessly to have a chance to win. He says they didn’t do that, and says they were uncharacteristically tight, something he didn’t expect from a team that had play in the state tournament before. The Knights opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the second but the Braves took the lead for good with four runs in the top of the third. Cherokee coach Andy Van Fossen says the other teams all scored first in all three of their district games, and he says once they got through the batting order they gained some confidence.