By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– It was a rematch 10 months in the making as the West High varsity baseball team hosted the Cougars of Cedar Rapids Kennedy last Tuesday evening for a double-header. The last time the two teams met was in Principal Park in Des Moines for the Class 4A Championship. Kennedy won that battle 11-1 in July 2010.
West dominated the more recent double-header opener with an 8-1 victory, but fell 10-8 in the nightcap.
West pitcher Ryan Rumpf, who was sidelined in last year’s championship game for an unspecified team violation, threw all seven innings of the opener. Rumpf struck out eight and only gave up one run off of six hits.
Offensively, Connor Schreck drove in Leo Franz in the bottom of the first. West put four runs on the board in the second when Franz nailed a two-run RBI and Rumpf sent an RBI home run sailing over the fence. The Cougars sole run came in the top of the third. In West’s half, Schreck led-off with a solo home run. Nick Grimsman scored in the fourth while acting as a courtesy runner for Rumpf, who knocked a double off the fence. Schreck launched a solo homer out into the trees alongside the school in the sixth inning.
The Cougars growled early in the nightcap, putting two runs up in the top of the first inning by scoring on a wild pitch and an RBI single. Kennedy runners scored in each of the first six innings while Jeremy Cronk and Will Ross split duties on the mound for West. Cronk struck out three but gave up seven earned runs and seven hits. Ross retired six Cougars and gave up three hits and two earned runs.
Ezra Reiners drove in Cronk with an RBI single in the second to put West on the board before getting caught between third and home. Rumpf scored Franz with an RBI double in the third and came home on a Ryan Siems RBI double. West scored a run in the fourth but still trailed Kennedy 7-4.
Siems hit a two-run homer in the fifth, bringing in Schreck. Cronk was next up and cranked out a solo homer to narrow the gap 8-7. An RBI single by Rumpf in the sixth scored Aaron Peller but West was still down 10-8 going into the seventh inning.
The Trojans are at home on Friday, June 10, for a varsity double-header against Dubuque Hempstead. Game time is 5 p.m.