IC West High baseball downs Linn-Mar, 2-1

BY VICTORIA KIPP | JUNE 05, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa City West High and the Linn-Mar Lions went head-to-head Monday, with the Trojans rising above the Lions in the first game of a double-header. The Trojans won the game, 2-1, thanks to a rally late in the game.

The Trojans (10-2) ended the game with 5 hits; Linn-Mar had 4. The Trojans had a batting average of .208 and committed no errors. The Lions committed two in the fifth that contributed to the loss.

Although the Trojans won the game, it did not come without a fight. The teams were evenly matched throughout the game; West didn't pull ahead until the fifth inning.

Sophomore Tyus Adkins said that Linn-Mar is always a tough team and that it wasn't an easy game. The key to the Trojans' success was a combination of individual work in the batter's box and teamwork on defense.

Adkins said that what worked well for West was that the players had "patience at the plate and defense behind the pitcher."

The pitching from both teams played a key factor. Both pitchers threw good games and kept the hits and score to a minimum. Linn-Mar's Jake Stolley had 10 strikeouts and threw 69 strikes. Trojan head coach Charlie Stumpff said Stolley is known as a strikeout pitcher, and his team will need to work on whiffing too much.

Trojan pitcher Kellen Yoder had his share of strikeouts, too, tossing 8 in seven innings.

The Trojans played strong defense. West left fielder Nick Grimsman caught three fly-ball outs, which helped to keep the Lions from knocking in any more than the 1 run. Luke Crimmins, the West shortstop, made a play in the second inning to start a double play.

The Trojans also showed strength on offense, even with Stolley throwing so many strikes and sending several back to the dugout. In the end, however, the pitcher's strike count started to drop and the Trojan players were able to capitalize on his fatigue to win.

"At some point between the second and fifth innings, everything fell apart with the pitcher on the other team, and we took advantage of it," Yoder said.

The Trojans were able to make contact leading up to the fifth inning but didn't have a lot of success getting on the base. The fifth inning was different. They loaded the bases and walked in the winning run.

Atkins, Ezra Reiners, and Ryan Siems were able to get on base in the fifth inning. In Reiners' at-bat, the Lion shortstop committed an error that allowed Atkins to reach second and Reiners to get on base.

A second error of interference committed by the Lions catcher allowed Reid Bonner a base on balls, and the Trojans plated their second run.

Stumpff said patience at the plate and consistency throughout the early innings lead to the victory.

"We played really well," he said. "The wind was blowing in, and we did enough offensively to win."

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