IOWA CITY — When West High meets City High in football it’s “The Battle for the Boot.” In volleyball, “The Spike” is on the line. When these two schools meet on the baseball diamond only pride and bragging rights are at stake, but that’s okay with the guys in green.
For the second year in a row, the Trojans reigned supreme over their cross town rivals in a two-day doubleheader.
West took the Tuesday night meeting at City 11-1 in six innings and finished the job Wednesday at home 10-0 in five. Wednesday’s win was the 12th straight for the Trojans and the seventh where the ten-run “mercy rule” was invoked.
“We don’t keep track of that,” West coach Charlie Stumpff said. “We just come out tomorrow and try to do better.”
The question may be, how much better can they get?
Tuesday night, City got their only run of the series in the bottom of the first inning. West tied in the top of the second, picked up four more in the third, five in the fourth and one in the sixth to end the night. Leo Franz belted out a triple and had three RBIs while Ryan Rumpf, Spence Bonner and Jeremy Cronk had doubles. Cronk also drove in a pair of runs for West. Aaron Peller, Nate Ewing, Ryan Siems, Ezra Reiners and Corey Kuepker added to the 11 Trojan hits. Will Ross worked all six innings on the mound giving up three hits, walking four and striking out eight.
Wednesday night, West’s standout pitcher Rumpf returned to the mound for his fourth start of the season. Rumpf has been battling a shoulder ailment, but felt he was good to go. Coach Stumpff pulled him in the fourth inning, moving Luke Crimmins to the mound in relief as Rumpf’s arm was starting to give out.
West put two runs on the board in the bottom of the second inning as Bonner led-off with a single and came home on a Connor Schreck double. Franz belted out a double to bring Schreck in. Two more runs came in the third following Rumpf’s base hit. Reiners came in as a courtesy runner for Rumpf and advanced on a Siems’ single. Bonner knocked-out a base hit bringing Reiners home, and Siems followed shortly thereafter on a Crimmins RBI single.
City threatened in the top of the fourth, but a rocket ball thrown from Tom Harder in deep right field to catcher Colin Baker gunned down City’s runner at the plate.
The Trojans put up three runs in their half of the inning on an RBI double from Rumpf (scoring Ewing) and a pair of RBI singles by Siems and Bonner. West defense led to City going three up and three down in the top of the fifth, setting the table for the final three Trojan runs.
West loaded up the bases as Crimmins walked, Schreck singled and Franz put up a base hit. Peller came to the plate with no outs and three Trojans looking for a ride home. A two RBI single brought in Andy Topping (courtesy running for Crimmins) and Nick Grimsman (courtesy running for Schreck). Ewing was up next and cranked out a single. However, the runners only advanced but loaded up the bases again.
Sean Beasley stepped up to the plate and fired the shot that brought in the winning run.
West put up 16 hits, had no errors and left eight men stranded. City only mustered four hits and left three out in the sun.
Rumpf struck out one and scattered three hits while Crimmins struck out three and gave up one hit.
“We know we’re on a roll” Coach Stumpff said. “We’re blessed with a lot of hitters, we’re really hitting up and down the line.”
The wins improved West’s record to 25-9 overall and 17-7 in the MVC, tying with Cedar Rapids Xavier for first place in the conference as both teams headed to Friday, July 8, regular season finales.