The second-ranked West High baseball team picked up a pair of wins Friday night in Iowa City over Dubuque Hempstead 4-3 and 9-1.
In the first Trojan-Mustang matchup of the night, West High struggled to find home plate, remaining scoreless for the first two innings.
Entering the third inning down one, junior shortstop Grant Ewing hit a lead-off double for the Trojans, followed by a single from West senior Tanner Wilson. Ewing and Wilson went on to score West’s initial runs of the evening, putting the Trojans just ahead of Dubuque.
Hempstead responded with its own pair of runs in the fourth inning but were unable to match West’s additional two runs from Ezra Reiners and Tanner Wilson in the fifth. Reiners and Wilson scored on a clutch double from senior second-baseman Reid Bonner.
The Trojans maintained the lead for a 4-3 victory.
“Their guys were throwing good the first game,” West coach Charlie Stumpff said. “We had a couple of missed cues, and they played real well. You’re going to get that in baseball. You get a lot of close games. It’s bound to happen during the course of the year, but we responded well.”
West won the second game with a more comfortable margin.
“We had a lot of hits,” Stumpff said. The pitching was really good. Defensively much better the second game.”
Junior pitcher Nick Spiess threw six solid innings for the Trojans, scattering six hits and only allowing one run.
West’s bats warmed up in the nightcap, led again by Bonner. Bonner was a combined 4-for-5 on the night, contributing two runs and six RBIs to the Trojan sweep.
“I was just trying to get hits and get on base,” Bonner said. “Pretty simple. I tried not overthink it.”
West advances to 23-4 on the season, with 11 regular season games remaining.
“Sometimes when it gets into the middle of June, it gets a little tough,” Stumpff said. “But I think when we get to July, the seniors will get that urgency. We have enough talent to get somewhere, and they know that. I think they’ll want to leave it all out there.”
West will face Dubuque Senior on Monday at home.
“We believe we’re one of the top teams in the state,” Bonner said. “Our goal is a state championship. We want to go all the way. We don’t want to let up.”