Ankeny punched its ticket to the 4A state semifinals with a 5-4 win over Pleasant Valley on Wednesday night.
The Hawks (20-8) took down the Spartans (13-12) thanks to a strikeout-filled performance from junior pitcher Brody Brecht.
Brecht totaled 16 strikeouts in his 6.1 innings. He gave up just three hits and two earned runs, shutting out Pleasant Valley for the game’s first three innings. In the fifth inning, Brecht recorded four strikeouts.
Ankeny’s offense came from Cael Boyd, who went 2-for-3 from the plate. Teammates Brecht, Barter Smith, Weston Fulk, Kade Somers, and Cooper Cox each recorded a hit.
The Hawks’ most productive inning came in the third. With the bases loaded, Smith connected on a three-RBI triple to right field.
Pleasant Valley cut into Ankeny’s lead in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring its four runs during that span. In the fifth, the Spartans capitalized on three Hawk errors.
Ankeny will face Hempstead on Friday in the 4A semifinals. The Mustangs won earlier Wednesday in a walk-off thriller over Iowa City High.