City High downs Cedar Rapids Xavier, 8-5

BY VICTORIA KIPP | JUNE 19, 2012 6:30 AM

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It was fight to the end for both City High and Cedar Rapids Xavier on Monday night, but the Little Hawks were victorious, 8-5. The game was the first of a double-header.

The lead changed four times throughout the game, with City High coming from behind in the third and then breaking out of a tie late in the sixth inning.

The Little Hawks had a rough start in the field in first inning, committing two errors and handing Xavier an easy lead. The Saints also had 2 hits in scoring 3 runs.

The Little Hawks didn't let Xavier's runs stop them for long. The following inning, they put together a strong offensive performance, scoring 2 runs, that got them right back in the game.

Assistant coach Bart Sueppel praised his team for being able to move past the errors.

City High followed that offensive burst with a second scoring frenzy in the third inning to take the lead at 5-4. City High pitcher Sam Mrstik started the hitting streak with a triple. Grant Simpson, Alex Mills, and Jack Frakes followed Mrstik's line drive were base hits.

"We hit the ball when we needed to," Mills said. "Players on the team were definitely hitting the ball very well tonight."

The Saints trailed for the first time, but they didn't lag for long. Xavier responded in the sixth inning with a home run to tie the game at 5.

City High disappointed the Saints, however, when Mrstik struck out Corbin Woods to extinguish the fire. Xavier ended its turn at the plate with only the one run.

The Saints never regained the lead.

The Little Hawks put the game out of Xavier's reach in the sixth inning, scoring 3 runs on 2 Saints' errors to take the lead at 8-5. City High had 3 hits, including a home run of their own, in the sixth.

Mrstik said that it felt great hitting a home run in the same inning as Xavier had hit theirs against him while he was pitching. He said that his home run helped the team get excited.

"It kept the momentum going, and it never let up after that," he said.

City High made adjustments in the field in the seventh. Mrstik was removed from pitcher in order to rest his arm because the team had a big lead. Ryan Duncan took his place and finished the game, allowing no additional runs for the Saints.

"We trust our player to make the plays," Sueppel said. "We like to put the pressure on the opposing team to have to make a play, and we did."

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