Fourth-seeded Valley used a big third inning and stout pitching from Will Mortiz to defeat Waukee for the fifth time this season, this time 5-1 in the Class 4A quarterfinals Wednesday at the state tournament at Principal Park. Moritz fired a four-hitter and struck out eight to push his record to 9-1 on the season.
Matt Kigin led off the bottom of the first inning for Valley with an infield single and later scored on a fielder’s choice to make the game 1-0.
The Tigers had a monster third inning highlighted by a Conner Shelton two-run single and a Kyle Westhoff two-run double that made the game 5-0.
Waukee was threating in the fifth inning when Ethan Rose and Zach Pierson hit back-to-back singles, but the Warriors left two runners on base and Valley still maintained a 5-0 lead.
Aside from the big third inning, Drew Irvine found his rhythm and pitched a solid game for Waukee.
Waukee scored a run in the top of the seventh inning thanks to a Tyrese Moore triple, but Mortiz was too dominant and earned the win for Valley.
Valley will advance to the next round and play the winner of Johnston and Cedar Rapids Washington. Waukee will end their season with a 29-12 record.