Johnston, Sioux City East to battle for 4-A baseball title

Johnston, Sioux City East to battle for 4-A baseball title


Johnston, Sioux City East to battle for 4-A baseball title


Johnston 5, East 3

Johnston’s Trevor McCauley tried to squeeze as close as possible to the Principal Park field five years ago.
From his front-row seat, he cheered as his brother Ryan celebrated winning a state baseball title. Now Trevor will have his own chance to try to jump into a joyful dogpile on the diamond.
Johnston stunned top-seeded Des Moines East 5-3 with a two-out, four-run rally in the sixth inning Friday to win a Class 4-A semifinal.
The Dragons (28-12) returned to Saturday night’s championship against Sioux City East for the first time since winning the 2008 title.
“I was watching that whole team from next to the dugout,” said McCauley, a senior first baseman. “I just saw so much excitement that he was around.”
The championship will be played at 8 p.m.
East finished the season at 37-5. The Scarlets had hoped to win the school’s first state baseball crown since 1980. An estimated crowd of more than 2,500 fans watched the showdown between two CIML teams.
“The crowd was awesome, to see everyone in red and black,” East outfielder Malique Ziegler said.
East scored two runs in the first inning. The score stayed that way until the sixth, when an unlikely hero stepped into the state tournament spotlight.
Sophomore Sergio Alaniz entered to play shortstop. He faced East ace Colby Carmichael, who had a 10-0 record and had retired nine straight batters.
It was Alaniz first varsity at bat. Coach Michael Barta decided to take a chance.
“He told me just to be confident,” Alaniz said.
Alaniz singled. That started a chain reaction. The next five batters reached base. Alex McCune, who was the winning pitcher, singled in two of the runs. Nick Stitzel added an RBI single and Travis Brenner walked in a run.
“We had a sophomore go up there and get a hit,” McCune said. “We all got kind of jealous about it. If he gets a hit, we all should get one.”
Johnston had been shut out three times this season, all against Valley. Johnston outhit East, six to four, in the game.
“We practice really hard and it’s just a matter of time before that pays off,” Barta said. “I didn’t believe a team could shut us out.”
Both teams added one run in the seventh inning.
East’s Xavier James, who will play football at Northern Iowa, pitched the final 1 1/3 innings and hit a double in the bottom of the seventh. Ziegler’s groundout scored Tyler Aswegan.
McCune, who threw a complete game four-hitter without a walk, got a groundout to end the game. A new Johnston celebration started.
“We had every opportunity, but baseball’s a funny game,” East coach Brian Luft said.
The Scarlets won the 1980 title under coach Chuck Sutherland, a familiar face at the stadium gates. Sutherland served as a ticket-taker, greeting many East fans by their first names, including some of his former players in attendance Friday.
“I’ve already seen several of them,” Sutherland said minutes before the game’s first pitch.
Sutherland will still have a chance to cheer for a team tonight. His first coaching job was at North Polk of Alleman, which will face Beckman of Dyersville in the 2-A state championship.
Johnston also won the 1-A state championship in 1977. The Dragons have 15 seniors on their roster.
East will graduate two seniors, James and catcher Dillon Hernandez, who ended their careers at state.
“This is how we play East High baseball,” Hernandez said.
Johnston – 000 004 1 – 5 6 4
East – 200 000 1 – 3 4 2

W–McCune. L–Carmichael.

Sioux City East 6, Clinton 1

Hayden Godfrey led Sioux City East to the Class 4-A state championship with his bat and his glove.
Godfrey pitched five strong innings and went 3-for-3 at the plate in East’s 6-1 win over Clinton in Friday’s semifinal at Principal Park.
East (32-9) will appear in the title game for the third time. The team took second in 1996 and 1997.
Godfrey drove in one run and scored another. Reliever Trey Lapke pitched two shutout innings in relief of him.
Clinton ended the year at 26-15. Alex Caldwell went 2-for-2 and scored a run in the loss.
Sioux City East – 022 000 2 – 6 8 3
Clinton – 000 001 0 – 1 4 2

W–Godfrey. L–Simpson.

Database: Iowa high school baseball records and champions since 1928


Johnston 2, Linn-Mar (Marion) 0
D.M. East 7, Davenport North 6 (9 innings)
Sioux City East 1, Cedar Rapids Xavier 0
Clinton 10, Ankeny 8

Johnston 5, East 3
Sioux City East 6, Clinton 1
8:00 —
Johnston (28-12) vs. Sioux City East (32-9)

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