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Iowa City West vs. Johnston
August 1, 2014The Iowa City West Trojans scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, defeating the Johnston Dragons, 7-6, in the Class 4A state semifinals Friday night at Principal Park to advance to the state championship game on Saturday night.
Eighth-seeded Johnston had scored four runs in the top of the sixth and took a 6-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh — and the defending state champs were just three outs away from a second straight trip to the 4A title game. But West pushed across six runs on four hits, one error, three walks, a hit batter, a catcher’s interference call and a wild pitch for the amazing comeback win.
Iowa City West scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh on back-to-back singles by Kevin DeLaney and Tyus Adkins. Declan Doyle then doubled to left-center to drive in DeLaney, pulling the Trojans within a score of 6-4. The Trojans trimmed the lead to one run when Brock Hatzky walked with the bases full, bringing in Adkins. Joe Scott then walked bringing in Jacob Verry to score the game tying run. The Trojans won the game on an RBI single by Nick Gallagher, driving in Devin Raffensperger as the winning run.
Johnston got started early out of the gate when, with two outs and the bases loaded, Drew Woods hit a double to center over the head of Trojan center fielder DeLaney, scoring Nick Stitzell and Seth Hammer.
The Trojans had a threat in the third inning with the bases loaded and one out. However, Adkins struck out and Doyle flew out to left when Stitzell made a leaping catch on the warning track to end the scoring threat and the inning.
The Trojans got on the board when an error on Dragon center fielder Johnny May allowed Gallagher advance to third on a single. Verry pinch ran for Gallagher, and scored on a Grant Ewing sac fly to center.
Clayton Holcomb had a strong pitching start for the Dragons, going 4.2 innings, giving up one run on four hits, two walks and striking out two. Three of the four complete innings Holcomb threw were 1-2-3 innings.
In the sixth inning, an infield bunt single by pinch hitter Tanner Correy and three walks led to Johnston scoring its third run of the game. Woods was the third Dragon walked, bringing in Reid Sinnett. It was Woods’ third RBI of the game. Andrew Heuss then drove in a run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The Dragons scored again when Sergio Alaniz hit into a fielder’s choice. Correy was thrown out at home on the force out. Trojan catcher Raffensperger then threw down to first to attempt to get Correy out. While that was happening, Tre Talton, pinching running for Woods, ran home to score as home plate was not covered defensively. Later in the inning, Alaniz scored on a Logan Ryan RBI single. The Dragons led 6-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, before the Trojans completed the comeback.
Johnston became the first eight seed to defeat a one seed in Class 4A since the state tournament moved to Principal Park in 2005 when it beat Waukee earlier in the tournament, and the Dragons finish the season with a record of 23-17.
West advances at 34-9.
Iowa City Press-Citizen: Huge comeback rescues West