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Spartans advance to substate final against CCA

Nathan Hawkins dives back into first base against Center Point-Urbana Friday.

SOLON– Solon’s baseball team advanced to a Class 3A substate final with a 7-5 win over Washington (Iowa) Monday night, July 21.
Nathan Hawkins pitched seven innings for the win, striking out nine batters and walking four.
The victory placed Solon in the 3A Substate 5 final against Clear Creek Amana Wednesday, July 23, at Solon (subsequent to the publication of this edition). The winner moves on to the 3A state baseball tournament in Des Moines which begins Tuesday, July 29.
The win against Washington was the second in a week for the Spartans.
Solon closed out its regular season hosting Washington July 15 in a four-inning 21-2 win in which Solon racked up 10 hits, 11 walks and 21 RBI.
The Spartans took a 5-1 lead after the first inning and then erupted for 16 runs in the second.
Luke Ira picked up the win on the mound, allowing four hits in three innings. Dalton Ferguson came in to pitch the final inning, striking out three.
Josh Bender and Logan Linderbaum each had two hits and four RBI for the Spartans. Both of Bender’s hits were doubles. Hawkins was 2-2 with an RBI. Hawkins, Elijah Kane, Linderbaum and pinch runner Ty Appleget each scored three times for Solon.
The Spartans entered postseason play with a 5-1 win over Center Point-Urbana in a Class 3A District 10 semifinal Friday, July 18.
Solon put up a run in the second inning and two more each in the third and fourth.
“I thought our team did a nice job putting pressure on their defense most of the game,” head coach Keith McSweeney said. “As a result, we were able to capitalize on their mistakes and peppered in a timely hit or two to plate the runs needed to give (pitcher) Mitch Silberstein some breathing room.”
Silberstein scattered seven hits and did not allow a Stormin’ Pointer run until the top of the seventh inning.
“Mitch’s game is filling the zone with strikes and getting lots of ground ball and pop flies, and we played solid defense behind him,” McSweeney said. “When we give Mitch that type of support, he’s difficult to beat.”
Dillon Drake and Patrick Maston each had two hits for the Spartans. Seven different batters had hits for Solon.
The win placed the Spartans in a rematch with the Demons in the District 10 final Monday night in Solon.
Hawkins had a double and two RBI to help his own cause, while Elijah Kane was 3-3 and scored twice. Maston was 2-3 with a double.