COLFAX — Win and advance is the name of the game in the postseason. Two area baseball teams did just that Tuesday night in Colfax, but did it in different ways in Class 1A District 11 play.
Lynnville-Sully’s Hawks moved on behind the complete-game pitching of junior Elijah Collins. Collins was in control on the mound in a one-hit, shutout — 3-0 — of Melcher-Dallas. Collins racked up 13 strikeouts.
Colfax-Mingo’s Tigerhawks powered past Montezuma’s Braves, 12-2 in five innings. The Tigerhawks cranked out 13 hits, stole six bases and played solid defense in eliminating a fellow South Iowa Cedar League team.
On Thursday, the district semifinal games will be played in Bussey hosted by Twin Cedars. Lynnville-Sully (16-7) take on top-seeded Moravia (21-7) at 5 p.m. and Colfax-Mingo (17-5) plays Twin Cedars (17-10) at 7 p.m.
The semifinal winners play for the District 11 title at 7 p.m. Saturday in Bussey. The District 11 champion advances to the Class 1A Substate 6 championship game on Tuesday at Knoxville, playing against the District 12 champion.
Substate champions earn a berth in the Class 1A state tournament, July 21, 22, 24-29, at Principal Park in Des Moines.
Lynnville-Sully and Melcher-Dallas (13-13) opened the district doubleheader on Colfax-Mingo’s field Tuesday.
Collins pitched four innings of no-hit ball against the Saints before Sam Houston singled with one out in the fifth. Collins struck out the next batter and coaxed a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
The Hawks were protecting a 1-0 lead at the time. They had scored with two gone in the second frame. Josh Dunsbergen singled and ended up at second on an errant throw. Cody Gibbs doubled to drive in the run.
“Elijah came up big for us tonight. He challenged the hitters all night by getting up early in the count,” Lynnville-Sully head coach Bob Scandridge said. “I liked our energy level tonight and we want to keep building on this postseason momentum.”
Lynnville-Sully built on its lead over Melcher-Dallas in the bottom of the fifth inning. Again, the Hawks did it with two gone in the frame.
Collins got things started with a base hit then stole second base. Tyler Van Zante was intentionally walked by the Saints. With runners at second and third, Bray Noun Harder drew a walk to load the bases. Corbin James delivered a two-run single.
Collins issued his only walk of the game in the sixth inning with one gone. He got a pop-up and a strikeout to shut down the Saints. He hit his second batter of the game to open the seventh inning.
Collins came right back to retire the next three batters, two by strikeout.
“Everything was working for me. I threw a lot of strikes tonight and my teammates played solid defense behind me,” Collins said. “This win means we advance and keep going. All season we’ve been there for each other and find a way to win.”
Offensively, Josh Dunsbergen had two singles for the Hawks and Gibbs doubled. Collins, Van Zante and Corbin James each had a single.
Colfax-Mingo’s win came with a strong offensive output. The Tigerhawks had beaten Montezuma’s Braves (2-21) twice in SICL play.
Sophomore Zarek Hill struggled at times to find the strike zone as the Tigerhawk starting pitcher. He got the win, going four innings. Hill allowed two runs on two hits and one walk. He also hit three batters and struck out six.
Alex Lewis pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning for Colfax-Mingo. He had one strikeout.
Hill more than made up for his pitching woes at the plate. He was 4-for-4 with a double and three singles. Hill drove in four runs.
In the first inning, Trinity Schroeder, who was 3-for-4 on the night, singled and went to second on a Brave error. Hill singled to drive in the first run of the game, ending up at second base. Hill stole third and scored on a base hit by Misha Seebeck.
Colfax-Mingo tacked on four runs in the second inning. Trystin Ross walked and Brady Berkey had a one-out single. Jimmy Camp drove in a run with a base hit followed by a two-run double by Schroeder. Hill chased home Schroeder with a single.
The Tigerhawks consistently ran the bases well, taking the extra base when Montezuma didn’t get the ball back in quick. In the third inning, Jonathan Jacobs beat out an infield hit and swiped second base. Ross drove in a run with a single.
Camp was hit by a pitch with two gone in the third. Schroeder and Hill had back-to-back RBI singles.
The Braves averted a shutout, scoring two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Matt Baker was hit by pitch from Hill then Gaige Arendt singled. An errant throw by the Tigerhawks allowed a run to score and Arendt advanced to third on the play. Eli Wilhelm’s fielder’s choice plated the second run.
Colfax-Mingo got one of those runs back in its half of the fourth. Adam Teed walked, stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice fly ball by Jacobs. Ross grounded out but Teed scored.
The Tigerhawks ended the game early with the 10-run rule by scoring twice in the fifth.
Camp singled with one gone and stole second base. With two outs, Hill drove a double down the left-field line to drive in a run. Cameron Warner came in to run for Hill and Seebeck ripped a single which allowed Warner to score the game-ending run.
Schroeder had a double and two singles. Camp and Seebeck each hit two singles for Colfax-Mingo. Jacobs and Berkey had a single apiece.
In the other opening-round games in District 11 on Tuesday, Moravia beat Moulton Udell (0-17) 11-0 in five innings and Twin Cedars edged North Mahaska (11-11), 6-5.
Contact Jocelyn Sheets at 641-792-3121 ext. 6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org