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Maroons deny IC West

Still looking for a championship
The Iowa City West High Trojans line up to shake hands with the Warriors of Cedar Rapids Washington after a 12-2 win in six innings Thursday morning, July 27, at Principal Park in Des Moines. The game was delayed six hours due to rain concerns, started after 10:30 p.m. and ended at 12:43 a.m. making it the latest-ending contest in state tournament history at the professional ball diamond. (photos by Chris Umscheid)

DES MOINES– Iowa City West High’s varsity baseball team has gone to the state baseball tournament four years in a row, and for the fourth time has returned home without a Class 4A state championship trophy.
The West High Trojans fell, 8-3, Friday, July 28, to the Maroons of West Des Moines Dowling Catholic in a semifinal round game at Principal Park in Des Moines.
The loss came in the wake of a historic Class 4A quarterfinal game between West and Cedar Rapids Washington on Wednesday, July 26. The game, set for a 5 p.m. first pitch, was pushed back until 10:39 p.m. due to extensive rain delays and didn’t end until 12:43 a.m. on Thursday after the Trojans won 12-2 in six innings.
The contest was the latest-ending game in state tournament history at Principal Park, with the previous holder of that dubious honor being a 2005 matchup between Cedar Rapids Xavier and Western Dubuque in a Class 3A quarterfinal, which ended at 12:34 a.m.
The Trojans entered the quarterfinals as the third seed while the Warriors were the sixth-seeded team in the tournament. West wasted no time and put five runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning off two hits, two walks on hit by pitch, a wild pitch and one Warrior error.
Braden Houston, the starting pitcher for the Trojans, put up a two-out, three-run double to start the scoring onslaught. Izaya Ono-Fullard (“Z”) had an RBI double in the second to make it 6-0 while Dane Randall had a two-RBI triple in the third. Nate Disterhoft’s RBI single made it 9-0.
The Warriors struck in the top of the sixth inning with two runs making it a 9-2 ballgame for the Trojans. Ono-Fullard knocked a solo home run in the bottom of the inning before Logan Sims knocked a two-RBI triple to end the game 12-2 on the 10-run mercy rule.
Disterhoft, Ono-Fullard and Sims had two hits each with a double and a homer for “Z” and a triple for Sims. Jason Strunk, Houston and Randall had one hit apiece with a double for Houston and a triple for Randall.
Houston pitched five innings, giving up two hits, no runs, walking two and striking out eight. Austin West closed for the Trojans giving up four hits and two earned runs in one inning on the mound with three strikeouts.
The win improved West to 32-8 on the season while the Warriors retired for the season at 24-16.
The second-seeded Maroons were to play after West and Washington, but moved to a 9 a.m. game on Thursday, July 27, with the Maroons knocking off Mason City, 8-1, to set the stage for the semifinal on Friday, July 28.
The 35-8 Maroons put the Trojans in a hole early with two runs in the bottom of the second and three more in the third for a 5-0 lead before Lucas Karwal scored Sims on an RBI sacrifice in the top of the fifth to put West High on the scoreboard.
The Trojans cut the deficit to two runs in the top of the sixth as Connor McCaffery belted out an RBI double and Tony Comellas knocked an RBI single. The rally, and hope for a positive outcome were dashed, however, as the Trojans gave those two runs back to the Maroons in the bottom of the inning on a two-RBI single. Another RBI single gave Dowling the 8-3 lead ahead of a three-up, three-down top of the seventh for West High.
The Trojans had four hits, with one each for McCaffery (double), Strunk, Comellas and Sims (triple). Jack Wilson started for West High but gave up three hits and two earned runs in the first inning. He struck out two and walked one before Connor Greer relieved him. Greer gave up one hit and three runs in 1.2 innings on the mound. Austin West finished out the game with 3.1 innings of work. He gave up six hits and three earned runs, walked one and struck out two as the Trojans’ season ended at 32-9.
The game was the final performance for seniors Teagan Bell, Jake Peterson, Randall, Alex Schwickerath, Disterhoft, Ty Bopp, McCaffery and Ono-Fullard.
Dowling advanced to the Class 4A championship on Saturday, July 29, where they faced Johnston (40-3), the No.1-seeded team. The Dragons shut out Dowling, 5-0.