Friday, June 22, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Iowa Valley League

Hogs, Bandits lead IVL teams at state tourney

WALFORD - The Walford Hogs and Norway Bandits finished the first weekend of the IABA state baseball tournament with perfect records, but Red Top is lurking in the wings.

Walford nipped Red Top, 2-1, in a pitcher's duel on Saturday and advanced to next weekend with a 2-0 record. Norway trimmed the Quad City 76ers, 4-1, on Sunday and advanced with a 3-0 mark.

Red Top, the 76ers, the Quad City Cardinals and Osage all advanced to the final weekend of the double-elimination tournament with 2-1 records. Fairfax, Watkins and Williamsburg from the Iowa Valley League were eliminated.

The tournament will resume Saturday in Norway with four games. Red Top plays Osage at noon, the 76ers face the Cardinals at 2 p.m., Norway will play the Red Top/Osage winner at 4 p.m. and Walford will play the 76ers/Cardinals winner at 6 p.m.



Pairings set for IABA state tourney

Twelve teams will compete in the IABA state baseball tournament this weekend with games at Norway, Walford and Muscatine.

The tournament begins Saturday with games at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at each site. The tournament will continue on Sunday and will resume next weekend with all games at Walford.

Six teams will advance to the second weekend of the tournament. Three teams will have 2-0 records and three teams will advance with 2-1 records.

Red Top won the Iowa Valley League title and will face Calmar in the opening round Saturday at 2 p.m. at Walford. All six teams from the Iowa Valley League qualified for the state tournament.

Three teams from the Black Hawk league and three teams from the North League also made the tournament.



Red Top, Walford sweep IVL twinbills

Red Top and Walford finished the regular season in the Iowa Valley League by sweeping doubleheaders on Sunday.

Red Top swept Williamsburg, 11-1 and 8-1, to finish the campaign with a 14-2 record for its sixth IVL title in a row.

Walford swept Watkins, 1-0 and 6-1, to finish in third place with a 9-7 record.


SOLON - Red Top parlayed strong pitching and good hitting into a clean sweep of Williamsburg.

Eric Schenck-Joblinske belted a home run and collected three RBIs for Red Top in the opener. Tyler Howe had a three-run double and finished with four RBIs. Reid Bonner socked a solo home run and Aaron Saeugling pitched four shutout innings with eight strikeouts for the victory.

Cole Baker raised his record to 5-1 for Red Top in the second game. He pitched five innings, allowing no hits with six strikeouts.

Ben Weeks had a three-run double for Red Top. Nick Day hit a solo home run and was 2-for-2. Manny Oletunde, who joined Red Top after finishing his prep career at Cedar Rapids Jefferson, had three hits.



Van Scoyoc helps Norway sweep twinbill

NORWAY - If your last name is Van Scoyoc and you lived in Norway for part of your life, there's a really good chance the game of baseball flows smoothly in your blood.

Spencer Van Scoyoc is the latest example.

Van Scoyoc pulled on his father's old Norway Bandits jersey Sunday and starred on the same field where his grandfather won 12 state titles as the Hall of Fame coach at old Norway High School.

Van Scoyoc delivered the game-winning sacrifice fly as Norway trimmed Fairfax, 2-1, in eight innings in the first game of an Iowa Valley League doubleheader at the venerable ballpark.

Van Scoyoc then sparkled in relief and was the winning pitcher as the Bandits took the second game, 7-1, to complete the sweep.

Van Scoyoc lived in Norway until he was seven years old in a house that sits near the ballpark. His father, Aaron Van Scoyoc, starred at Norway High School and played in the minor leagues for the New York Yankees. His grandfather, Jim Van Scoyoc, won those 12 state titles and 796 games during his legendary coaching career at Norway and helps keep the field in tip-top shape with his keen eye for detail.

"My house was right on that corner over there," Spencer Van Scoyoc said after the doubleheader, pointing in a northwest direction from the field. "We'd always come out here when I was little and play around, and now to get a chance to play on this field is pretty awesome.



Corson tosses 1-hitter for Norway

Brady Corson pitched a one-hitter with nine strikeouts Sunday as the Norway Bandits blanked Williamsburg, 11-0, in the first game of an Iowa Valley League doubleheader at Williamsburg.

The Red Sox rebounded with a 3-2 victory in the second game.

Elsewhere Sunday, Cody Bell starred with his arm and bat as Fairfax split a twinbill with Watkins.


WILLIAMSBURG - Corson was razor-sharp for Norway in the 11-0 victory in the first game.

Ron Benich belted a three-run homer for the Bandits in the opener and Zach Patterson collected a three-run double. Travis Mueller and Oswaldo Calderon also had RBI base hits for Norway.

The second game was tied, 2-2, heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. Cam Frazier led off for Williamsburg with a single and Ryan Arp was hit by a pitch. Joe Anton bunted the runners to second and third, then A.J. Liddell got the go-ahead base hit.

Chuck Lukanen tossed a complete game for Williamsburg, allowing only four hits with seven strikeouts. Dakota Freese allowed only three hits on the mound for Norway, but he walked three batters and hit three batters with a pitch.


FAIRFAX - Bell sparkled on the mound for Fairfax in the 3-1 victory in the first game. He pitched a two-hitter and struck out 14 batters.

Bell also played a major role as a batter for Fairfax with a double in the first inning. He scored on an RBI single by Jimmy Lizarraga.

Ben Sass had an RBI single for Fairfax in the second inning. Lucas Larson doubled and scored for the winners in the fourth.

Luke Franzenburg tossed a complete game for Watkins with eight strikeouts. Karson Kuester hit a double and scored the only run for Watkins.

Fairfax took a 2-1 lead into the seventh inning of the second game, but Watkins broke loose with four runs for the victory. Jake Thuman hit a two-run double to give Watkins a 3-2 lead and DJ Utley hit a two-run double for a 5-2 advantage.

Jonny Frese hit a solo home run for Watkins. Zach Morrissey tossed a complete game with 11 strikeouts.

Bell had three hits and two RBIs for Fairfax.


* Red Top        12-2
Norway            9-7
Walford           7-7
Fairfax           6-8
Williamsburg      6-8
Watkins           4-12

* Clinched title


Williamsburg at Red Top, 1
Fairfax at Norway, 1
Watkins at Walford, 4


WALFORD - Add: Tony Stenberg, Toran Shaheedy and Riley Pfiffiner. Drop: Josh Crosby, Austin Groth and Corbin Woods.
WATKINS - Add: Skylar Frese and Brady Kraus. Drop: Ezra Reiners.
WILLIAMSBURG - Add: Jacob Holub and Dustin Meirotto. Drop: Zach Brown and Lucas Robbins.


Red Top wins 6th IVL title in row

SOLON - It's a dynasty, plain and simple.

Red Top captured its sixth Iowa Valley League title in a row Sunday when it blanked Walford, 6-0 and 1-0, in a doubleheader at the Solon High School field.

They began playing baseball in the Iowa Valley League in 1935, and in all that time nobody had ever won six straight titles before. Teams had won five straight crowns, but never six.

Red Top has it all: Good players, good leadership, good coaching and a solid organization.

"We always have good talent," said Ben Rettenmeier, who tossed a five-hit shutout in the opener, "but I think it's the leadership. We've got coaches playing, we've got guys from big schools that have stepped up in big spots.

"We have a connection from playing together so long," he said. "We mesh well and have a good time together."

Red Top raised its record to 12-2, giving it an insurmountable lead in the standings with just one week left in the regular season.

"We've got a really good core," said Red Top Manager Adam Sadler, who has been a player and coach for the top team for 20 years. "We've had that group of core guys that's been here 6-7-8 years. We've kept that group together this whole time.

"We've kept that core together and filled in with younger guys, getting that young blood in there too. That core group of guys kind of teaches them and shows them how we do it."



Iowa Valley League games rained out

All of the Iowa Valley League baseball games that were scheduled for Sunday were rained out or canceled due to wet grounds.

The schedule was supposed to feature Red Top at Watkins, Walford at Norway, and Fairfax at Williamsburg. The games will not be made up.

This week's schedule features Watkins at Fairfax, Walford at Red Top, and Norway at Williamsburg. All of the doubleheaders are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.


Red Top       10-2
Walford        7-5
Norway         6-6
Fairfax        5-5
Williamsburg   5-7
Watkins        3-11


RED TOP: Add Cale Henke and Eric Schenck-Joblinske. Drop JJ Reimer and Noah Dostal.



Norway, Watkins split IVL twinbill

WATKINS - The Norway Bandits and Watkins Mudhens split an Iowa Valley League doubleheader in Watkins Saturday night.

Norway won the first game, 6-1, and Watkins rebounded in the nightcap for a 13-5 victory.

Sunday's doubleheaders that were supposed to feature Fairfax at Red Top and Williamsburg at Walford were canceled by rain and wet grounds and will be not be rescheduled.


Norway exploded for six runs in the fifth inning of the opener to take control in the 6-1 victory.

Tony Solato drew a walk and Christian Stekl was hit by a pitch to set the table for the Bandits. Ron Benich hit a key double for Norway in the inning and Mitch Walser had a two-run double. Benich and Walser had two hits in the game.

Brady Corson struck out eight batters in six innings for the victory.

Jonny Frese and Luke Hassman had two hits for Watkins in the opener.



Rettenmeier tosses shutout for Red Top

Ben Rettenmeier pitched a shutout as Red Top blanked Norway, 2-0, in the first game of their Iowa Valley League doubleheader in Norway Sunday.

Norway rebounded with a 6-3 victory in the nightcap to split the twin-bill.

Elsewhere, Williamsburg and Watkins split their doubleheader in Williamsburg.


NORWAY - Rettenmeier is normally the closer for Red Top, but he tossed all seven innings in the complete-game victory.

Rettenmeier allowed seven hits in the ballgame. Norway bunched three of those hits in the second inning, but failed to score.

Red Top took a 1-0 lead in the opener on a single by Reid Bonner, a walk and an RBI single by Tyler Howe. Red Top made it 2-0 in the sixth on a double by Cale Henke and an RBI single by Ryan Rumpf, who had two hits for the winners.

Brady Corson pitched five strong innings for Norway and allowed only one run on four hits. Mitch Walser had two hits for the Bandits.



Wood hopes to pitch for Hawkeyes

FAIRFAX - Elijah Wood was nervous before he pitched for Walford in the Iowa Valley League on Sunday because he knew Iowa Coach Rick Heller was sending one of his assistants to watch him throw, but he channeled that nervous energy into a strong outing that might land him a spot with the Hawkeyes.

Wood struck out seven batters in four innings and was the winning pitcher as Walford dumped Fairfax, 11-1, in the second game of their doubleheader at the Fairfax field.

Walford won the first game, 3-1, and jumped ahead of Fairfax into second place in the Iowa Valley League standings.

Wood, a 6-foot-4 left-hander, lives in Ainsworth, which is just a short 20-minute drive from Iowa City, and he grew up cheering for the Hawkeyes. He attended Washington High School and pitched the last two years at Marshalltown Community College, so now he's looking for an NCAA Division I school to continue his career.

Heller has not offered a scholarship yet, but the Iowa coach will probably get a favorable report from Sunday's game.

"I would very seriously consider it," said Wood. "It's close to home, I could come home and go deer hunting every weekend. It would be really cool if I could get in there. I hope they liked what they saw today."

Wood had a modest 3-5 record and 4.66 ERA at Marshalltown this past season, but those numbers should come with an asterisk. He had surgery this past December to remove a seven-inch blood clot in his left shoulder, a problem caused by a rib that affected the blood flow.



Walford sweeps twinbill from Watkins

WATKINS - The Walford Hogs swept the Watkins Mudhens, 3-2 and 11-5, in an Iowa Valley League doubleheader at Watkins Sunday.

Norway's doubleheader at Fairfax was canceled due to wet grounds.

Juan Gonzales pitched five shutout innings for Walford in the first game of its twinbill against Watkins and was the winning pitcher. Diogenes Ceballos relieved in the seventh inning and got the save.

Walford took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI base hit by Tyler Butz. The Hogs made it 3-0 in the third, with the big hit an RBI double by Brennan Hammer.

Watkins pulled within 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Nick Brown and they made it 3-2 in the seventh on an RBI hit by Jack Strellner. Ceballos relieved with the tying run on base and finished the victory.

Ty Mougin and Jake Stenberg had two hits for Walford. Brown and Strellner had two hits for Watkins. Luke Franzenburg pitched a complete game for Watkins.



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