Sunday, August 18, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Opening ceremony set May 23 at Prospect Meadows

In the classic 1989 movie “Field of Dreams,” an Iowa farmer plows under a corn field and builds a real baseball field in its place when a mysterious voice whispers “If you build it, he will come.”

That was fiction, of course, but the real thing has been happening at Prospect Meadows. And instead of just one field that attracted legendary ghost players, Prospect Meadows will feature nine fields this year and a total of 17 fields when the project is finished in 2023.

Thousands and thousands of young folks – not ghosts like Shoeless Joe Jackson and Kevin Costner’s father -- will be getting a chance to play baseball and softball at the complex.

The Opening Day ceremonies and ribbon-cutting will be held on Thursday, May 23 at the sparkling new complex, which is located  at the juncture of Highway 13 and County Home Road just north of Marion.

There will be a reception for invited guests at 3 p.m., with the ceremony at 4 p.m., a public open house that begins at 5 p.m. and ballgames on five of the fields at 5:30 p.m., including a game on the Miracle Field for people with special needs.

It’s taken almost 10 years to plan the facility, raise the funds and actually get it built, but Prospect Meadows is already being hailed as a first-class baseball and softball complex in Iowa.

Jack Roeder, the general manager at Prospect Meadows, was the GM of the Cedar Rapids Kernels when they opened their new ballpark in 2002 and helped oversee that project.


KCC golfers win 5th regional in row

AMES - The Kirkwood men's golf team captured the Region XI title for the fifth straight year Monday.

The third-ranked Eagles topped DMACC by 20 shots, 603 to 623, in the 36-hole tournament at the Veenker Memorial Golf Course in Ames.

Kirkwood advanced to the NJCAA Division II national tournament May 21-24 at Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Ind.

James Morgan of Kirkwood claimed medalist honors at 3-over-par 147 with rounds of 71 and 76. Ben Epperly of Kirkwood placed third, Will Babcock tied for fifth, Ryan Morrison tied for seventh and Dawson  Peters tied for 15th.


Mustangs denied trip to nationals

OZARK, Mo. - The Mount Mercy baseball team came within two outs of  earning a trip to the NAIA national tournament Monday.

The Mustangs held a 3-1 lead over Clarke University with two outs in  the bottom of the ninth, needing a victory in the losers bracket final  of the Heart of America Conference tournament to automatically qualify  for nationals.

Unfortunately for Mount Mercy, the Pride rallied for two runs in the  bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game 3-3 and force extra  innings. Clarke broke the deadlock by scoring in the bottom of the  12th for a 4-3 verdict.

Baker blasted Clarke, 16-3, in the first championship game to win the  conference tournament. Baker and Clarke now advance to the NAIA  tournament as the conference tournament champion and runnerup, while  Mount Mercy finishes one win short at 29-23.

Mount Mercy compiled a 4-2 record in the tournament and staved off  three straight elimination games.


Clutch Eagles will host softball regional

MASON CITY - The eighth-ranked Kirkwood softball team delivered in the  clutch Sunday by sweeping an ICCAC doubleheader from NIACC, 5-3 and  6-4, in the final games of the regular season.

As a result, Kirkwood will host an NJCAA Division II regional  tournament this weekend in Cedar Rapids.

Kirkwood (44-13) will face Ellsworth (17-36) in the regional opener  Friday at 2 p.m., with NIACC (28-16) meeting Iowa Lakes (17-33) at 4  p.m. in the four-team, double-elimination event.

The second-ranked DMACC Bears, who won the ICCAC title, will be  hosting a different four-team regional. Kirkwood finished second in  the ICCAC standings behind DMACC.

DMACC and Kirkwood will not meet again this season unless they both  reach the NJCAA World Series and meet in the national tournament.

Regional champions advance to district tournaments, and district  champions advance to the World Series.


Mustangs eye spot at nationals

OZARK, Mo. - Believe it or not, the Mount Mercy baseball team is one  victory away from reaching the NAIA national tournament.

The Mustangs scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday  to clip 17th-ranked Central Methodist University, 2-1, in an  elimination game at the Heart of America Conference tournament at US  Baseball Park.

Mount Mercy (29-22) will face Clarke University (27-20) in the losers  bracket finals Monday at 10 a.m., with the winner advancing to the  conference finals against Baker at 1:30 p.m. Monday and clinching a  spot in the national tournament.

The Heart of America Conference gets two spots in the national  tournament this year, and the two berths go to the conference  tournament champion and the tournament runnerup.

Mount Mercy has won three straight elimination games at the tournament  and Sunday's game was a doozy. The Mustangs trailed, 1-0, heading into  the bottom of the ninth and scored two runs without a base hit.


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