Eighth-seeded Cedar Rapids Washington used some seventh-inning magic to advance to the 4A state championship game, beating Valley 5-4 in the semifinals Friday night at Principal Park. The Warriors scored four runs in the top of the seventh on a bases-loaded walk, a fielder’s choice and two wild pitches.
Valley jumped off to an early 3-0 lead scoring one run in the first inning and two runs in the second inning. Jack Thompson hit a moon shot sac fly to center field, but Lincoln Riley made a nice play on the ball which prevented a monster Tiger inning.
Washington’s Riley singled to score Rimmy Nemickas which gave the Warriors their first run of the game and make the game 3-1 in third inning.
Ben DeTaeye pitched a wonderful game and was forced to exit due to his pitch count in the seventh inning and this is when Valley lost control of the game.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Warriors drew four straight walks. Nemickas, Jake Bockenstedt, Riley and Joe Mckinstry all walked with one out in the inning. Jack Thompson entered the game and got a quick ground out to second. Although it brought in a run to make the game 4-3 in favor of Valley, it gave the Tigers the second out in the inning. Chaos insinuated when Thompson threw two wild pitches that gave Washington a 5-4 lead. Washington was able to score four runs in the top of the seventh inning without recording a hit.
Nemickas entered the seventh inning and the rest is history as he struck out the final batter and continued the Cinderalla run for Washington.
The Warriors upset top-ranked and top-seeded Johnston in the quarterfinal round on Wednesday.
Washington (27-17) will battle against Urbandale in the 4A ctate championship on Saturday, while Valley’s season ends at 28-16.