IOWA CITY– It’s hard to beat a team three times in one season. So says the conventional wisdom as well as many coaches and sports writers.
It’s among their top-10 clichés.
However, Friday night (July 19) the West High Trojans showed the phrase has some truth in it as they initially struggled against Cedar Rapids Jefferson before winning 4-2 in a first round game in substate action at home. West had beaten the J-Hawks 11-0 and 6-3 almost a month ago and entered the contest No.1 in the substate 6 bracket with a 32-7 record while Jefferson was the No. 6 seed at 12-26.
It was the J-Hawks though who plated the first two runs in the top of the second and third innings. Tanner Wilson answered for West in the bottom of the third with an RBI single to put the Trojans on the scoreboard.
Nate Boland scored the tying run in the fifth on an RBI single by Greg Ludwig. It was a 2-RBI double by Colin Baker in the sixth that drove Trojan Nation wild. Baker, the catcher, was replaced at second base by courtesy runner Brock Hatzky and returned to the West dugout where he was greeted with fist-bumps and high-fives.
Tyus Adkins also merited praise from the fans and his teammates, working the full game and giving up only one earned run and seven hits while striking out six.
The Trojans will host the substate final Wednesday, July 24, against either Linn-Mar or Cedar Rapids Kennedy. The Lions and Cougars were set to mix it up Monday, July 22.
West ended the regular season Wednesday, July 17, by dismantling Davenport Central 15-3 at home. The Blue Devils had a reason to sing the blues, with a 13-18 record. But, they managed to beat Cedar Rapids Washington and the J-Hawks 11-7 and 9-3 respectively.
A devastating 10-run deluge in the third inning followed a five-run inning by West in the bottom of the second. Davenport answered with one run in the top of the fourth after wholesale changes and realignments by West, and put up two more runs in the fifth.