Wednesday, July 23, 2014
WEDNESDAY SCOREBOARD - MWL - Kernels at Bowling Green ..... 4A SUBSTATE BASEBALL - Davenport West at Kennedy ..... 3A SUBSTATE BASEBALL - Marion vs. Davenport Assumption ..... STATE SOFTBALL: CLASS 5A CONSOLATION: Pleasant Valley 12, Jefferson 0 ..... 5A SEVENTH PLACE: Jefferson 2, Waukee 0
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

No. 6 J-Hawks stranded at state softball

FORT DODGE - They don't keep any records at the state softball tournament for how many runners you leave on base in the first four innings of a ballgame.

Likewise, they don't keep records for how many times you fail to execute a sacrifice bunt.

If they did, the Jefferson J-Hawks might have their name all over the record book for missed opportunities on a big stage.

Jefferson left a whopping 10 runners on base in the first four innings and  never scored in a 2-0 loss to No. 3 Southeast Polk Tuesday in the opening round of the Class 5A state tournament at the Rogers Sports Complex in Fort Dodge.

The sixth-ranked J-Hawks (34-7) will face No. 7 Pleasant Valley (30-9) in a consolation game Wednesday at 10 a.m. in hopes of battling back for fifth place.


Garver belts 3 HRs, ties Kernels mark

Mitch Garver got to rub elbows with Johnny Bench when he was a two-time finalist for the Bench Award as the top collegiate catcher in the country during his last two years at the University of New Mexico.

Garver did a good imitation of the Hall of Fame catcher during Monday afternoon's Midwest League game at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Garver tied the club record with three home runs and caught a three-hitter as the Cedar Rapids Kernels crumpled the Fort Wayne Tin Caps, 8-1, before 4,008 fans at Perfect Game Field.

Garver belted a two-run homer in the first inning, socked another two-run blast in the third inning and capped his historic day with a mammoth solo shot onto 8th Avenue SW in the eighth inning.

They've been playing minor league ball in Cedar Rapids since 1890 and during all that time nobody has ever hit four home runs in a game, according to Kernels communications manager Andy Pantini.



J-Hawks ousted by Burlington, 5-1

Veterans Memorial Stadium is a terrific minor league ballpark with all the amenities, but it turned into a haunted house for the Jefferson J-Hawks this season.

Jefferson lost to Kennedy, 20-10, in the championship game of the Metro Tournament to begin the season in May when the Cougars scored 14 runs in the final inning.

The J-Hawks returned to the stadium Monday night and lost to Burlington, 5-1, in the semifinals of the Class 4A substate tournament.

The lights at the Jefferson field were severely damaged in a storm in June and have not been replaced yet, so the J-Hawks moved up the block to Veterans Memorial Stadium for their most important game of the year.


Erin Kuba of Jefferson: 'She's my hero'

Erin Kuba was born with Jefferson baby-blue blood in her veins.

Her dad Mike, a longtime at-risk facilitator at the school, was on the baseball staff for 18 years (the last seven as head coach) before becoming old friend Brian Erbe’s top assistant for the softball team last season.

“When she was 2 years old she’d sit on my lap at games,” recalls Mike. “And when she was little, she’d pick two away games a year to go on a charter bus with the team and be the bat girl.”

Now a 16-year-old sophomore star third baseman, Erin says, “I grew up a J-Hawk.”

Named last week to the MVC all-conference first team and all-Metro first team, she’s set to play in her second straight Class 5A state tournament when sixth-ranked Jefferson  (34-6) opens with third-ranked Southeast Polk (28-9) in a first-round game at Fort Dodge Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.


Kernels blanked by Fort Wayne, 2-0

Scoring runs had been no problem for the Cedar Rapids Kernels the past two weeks, but Fort Wayne pitchers put an end to that stretch of good fortune Sunday.

The Tin Caps blanked the Kernels, 2-0, Sunday afternoon before 2,432 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The Kernels did not have a runner reach second base until the sixth inning when Michael Quesada and J.D. Williams opened the frame with back-to-back singles. But a failed bunt, a strikeout and a ground-out ended the home team’s first, last and only threat of the day.

Cedar Rapids mustered just four hits, all singles, and No.9 batter Williams claimed two of them.

Fort Wayne hitters did not fare much better, with just five hits, but they scored on a bases-loaded ground-out in the second inning and on a sacrifice fly in the third.

The Kernels wasted efficient pitching in the game, which lasted just two hours and 14 minutes.


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