By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
DES MOINES– The West High Trojans rallied back from a 6-0 deficit last Wednesday at the state baseball tournament, but couldn’t tame the Tigers of West Des Moines Valley in a 10-5 Class 4A quarterfinal loss.
The Tigers put two runs on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning and enjoyed a four-run barrage in the fifth. West was shut-out until the bottom of the fifth when they staged a come-back with a four-run rally. A run in the sixth narrowed the gap to one run, but a four-run assault by the Tigers in the seventh sealed the Trojans’ doom.
Josh Verry led-off for West in the fifth with a single in an inning that saw the Trojans load the bases and the Tigers change-out pitchers. Ryan Siems, Reid Bonner and Devin Raffensperger also put up base hits with RBIs by Bonner, Ezra Reiners (who reached on a fielder’s choice) and Raffensperger.
In the sixth, Luke Crimmins singled and made second on an error. Wade Nash filled-in on base for Crimmins as a courtesy runner, but was out at home plate. Reiners doubled and Siems picked up an RBI but the tying run was stranded at third.
“They (Valley) were just so explosive today,” Coach Charlie Stumpff said. “A lot of extra-base hits, their speed, they just made a lot of really good plays. Every time we put up a challenge… they answered. We got beat by a really talented baseball team that’s playing well right now.”
Tyus Adkins had the best luck at the plate with two hits. Reiners, Siems, Bonner, Raffensperger, Crimmins and Verry all had one hit each. Kellen Yoder threw the first five innings striking-out seven, walking three and giving up seven hits and six earned runs. Yoder was charged with the loss. Crimmins worked the last two innings on the mound striking-out two, walking two and giving up six hits and four earned runs. The loss ended West’s season with a 34-9 record and improved Valley’s to the same figures, having come into the state tournament at 33-9 to West’s 34-8.
This was West’s seventh state appearance with second-place showings in 2009 and 2010.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the guys,” said Stumpff. “From where we were to having the tying runs on… that’s all you could ask. Give Valley credit, they played better than us today.”
The Trojans lose 10 to graduation: Tom Harder, Andy Jones, Jacob Schmitt, Jay Slocum, Andy Topping, Nick Grimsman, Kellen Yoder, Ryan Aller, Luke Crimmins and Ryan Siems.
For West: 5 runs, 8 hits, 0 errors.
For Valley: 10 runs, 13 hits, 3 errors.