Golden Eagles break a tie with 5 runs in the 6th inning, move on to a 10-7 win
07/30/2021 6:01 pm, Updated: 07/30/2021 7:36 pm
Xavier teammates react as Wahlert scores a run in the sixth inning in their 3A semifinal game with Wahlert Catholic at the IHSAA State Baseball Tournament at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City on Friday, July 30, 2021. Wahlert won the game 10-7. (Rebecca F. Miller / The Gazette)
IOWA CITY – Perhaps the way it went made Xavier an even harder loss for the Cedar Rapids baseball team.
Ah, who’s kidding: Every defeat that ends your season is more than tough.
Dubuque Wahlert scored five runs in the top of the sixth innings to break a tie and eventually outperform Xavier 10-7 in a semifinals of the Class 3A state tournament on Friday afternoon at Banks Field.
Xavier swept Wahlert a regular season double header, so there’s that sting. Then remember, the Saints got behind five runs very early on that one, rallying for a draw only to lose late.
“We fought back well,” said Myles Butkowski from Xavier. “You just ran there on lap six and it was hard to come back from. It was a great season. We did what we could. “
A long, two-run home run from the silver Hawkeye statue well behind the fence in Aaron Savary’s left field was the big blow as Wahlert (32-10) scored four instant runs in the top of the first. Another run in the second game resulted in a 5-0 game.
Xavier (27-13) came back into the game with a quadruple third run, making it a 5-5 game on a Brody Hoffman RBI groundout in run five. But Wahlert went straight to the fence in the right midfield in the next half-inning with five singles and a Jake Brosius go-ahead double.
The Golden Eagles had 14 hits in the game against three Xavier pitchers, including reliever Drew Proskovec, who suffered the defeat. Very few, if any, of the hits were of the cheap variety.
“You just hit it. I don’t know what else to say, ”said Xavier coach Dan Halter. “Give them credit, they hit the ball today. It seemed like they were on almost everything. We gave them a couple of different looks in terms of going right, left, breaking balls, changing speed, and position. There have been several times that we’ve hit our spots and I thought we’d pitched, but they were spot on. “
“Our energy was solid throughout the game,” said Brosius. “After they won this game, they beat us twice in the end, they thought it would be an easy win for them. We knew we had to get up early. We had to put a few runs on the board. We did that. “
It wasn’t easy for Xavier until late in the afternoon. It put another rally together in the lower section of sixth place, scoring twice and leaving the bases loaded. Griffin Maloney sat down in the seventh against Wahlert-Replacement Landon Stoll with one, which conjured up memories of the three runs in the seventh inning, which the Saints had to win in additional innings against Bondurant-Farrar in additional innings.
But there was no more magic here.
“We have been there before, have done it before,” said Halter. “(Coming back) simply shows the character and resilience of our boys.”
“I couldn’t ask for a better team to play with,” said Aidan Henry of Xavier, who went 3-on-4 with two RBIs. “These guys are amazing, like brothers to me. The seniors were great mentors. We have to carry over what they have taught us to the next year. “
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