It came down to the wire, but Ankeny took down Dubuque Hempstead 9-8 to advance to the 4A championship game.
The Hawks won off a walk-off wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh. With Ryan Madole on third, Hempstead’s pitch went outside and catcher Zach Sabers turned to chase down the ball. Madole crossed home for the game-winning run.
Ankeny jumped out to an early lead, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first. Hempstead would counter with four over its next two, and eventually, both teams found themselves deadlocked 8-8 heading into the fifth.
Ankeny pitcher Samuel Andrews received the starting nod, but his outing lasted just one inning. Ankeny followed with Cooper Cox, who didn’t last a full inning. Combined, the two walked six batters and allowed four runs.
Meanwhile, Hempstead started Logan Runde, who gave up seven earned runs. He allowed 12 hits, walked two, and struck out six batters.
But down the stretch, it was Ankeny pitcher Dylan Schlee who kept things under control. Hempstead scored four with him on the mound, but Schlee struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter.
Ankeny’s Jase Baur, Mo Watson, and Carter Smith all recorded at least two hits in Friday’s action. Dane Schope was the only Hempstead batter with multiple hits.
Ankeny will face either Urbandale or Johnston in the 4A championship game Saturday.