Johnston vs. Urbandale
August 3, 2019
The sixth-seeded and defending 4A champions Urbandale J-Hawks remained on top, knocking off the top-seeded Johnston Dragons 8-2 to win the Class 4A state championship before a big crowd Saturday night at Principal Park. Last year, Urbandale defeated the 6-7-8 seeds to win the 4A title. This year, the J-Hawks defeated the 3-2-1 seeds — in that order — to repeat.
It was an eventful first inning, with Urbandale looking as comfortable as they did last year. They scored three runs in the first inning, two off of a throwing error from starting pitcher Jacob Tobey.
Johnston was ready to hit in their half, however, stringing together three consecutive two-out hits, scoring one run. The last out made by Gabe Swansen looked like it was ready to unload the bases before being chased down by the J-Hawk centerfielder Ty Cowley.
Urbandale had a response, with three consecutive batters reaching to score two runs in the second inning. They scored two more in the third on an error and three hits, making the score 7-1.
The Dragons could not come back from Urbandale’s offensive barrage, stringing together just one hit and two total baserunners over the next three innings.
Their struggles through four innings were due to the brilliance of the J-Hawks’ starter Lucas Strain, who set down 10 of 12 batters at one point. However, he couldn’t hold Johnston all game as they were able to string together hits in the fifth and threatened to score.
The Dragons started the fifth with a single and a double before recording an out. After scoring a run on a sacrifice fly, they loaded the bases. Unfortunately for Johnston, Cowley did it again. He made the play of the tournament, tracking down a ball in the left-center field gap to save three runs from scoring. Johnston left 13 runners on base in the game.
The Urbandale J-Hawks finish the season at 31-14, with their fourth Class 4A state title.
The Johnston Dragons end the season at 36-6.