Baseball team falls to Linn-Mar in substate quarterfinals

The baseball team lost to Linn-Mar 5-2 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids on July 17 in the substate quarterfinals.

Owen Aanestad, Online Editor-In-Chief

In a normal world, Friday night’s matchup between the West High baseball team and Linn-Mar would be the third game between the two squads this season. Due to a possible COVID-19 exposure for the Lions, the July 3 doubleheader was canceled. The Mississippi Valley teams met in the substate quarterfinals at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids on July 17 in hopes of making a run at the state tournament after No. 1 seed Southeast Polk had their season ended due to COVID-19.

With no fan restrictions for the first time in the season, starting pitcher Marcus Morgan ’21 took the mound to an excited crowd in the top of the first. Morgan walked two in the first to give himself first and third with two outs when a mix up at the plate gave the Lions their first run of the game. Morgan got a groundout to end the inning as West went into the bottom of the first down 1-0.

Senior Brett Cherry found a hole in right field for the Trojans’ first hit of the night in the bottom of the third which led to bases loaded two outs after two walks. However, Will Hoeft ’20 and the Trojans couldn’t capitalize as they stranded three runners down 1-0 going into the fourth.

A close call triple down the right field line and a sacrifice bunt gone wrong for the Trojans put them down 3-0 going into the bottom of the fourth but the Trojans showed some life, putting up one run in the fourth and the fifth to go into the top of the sixth down 3-2.

After a leadoff walk, Morgan called it a night as head coach Charlie Stumpff went to the bullpen for Drew Klein ’20. The Lions scored on a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher to put Linn-Mar up by two with one out in the sixth. Ben Vander Leest ’20 got the Trojans out of the inning on the mound after another sacrifice bunt to score one by the Lions to put them up 5-2 going into the bottom of the sixth.

The Trojans couldn’t get anything going in the sixth or the seventh after loading the bases twice on the night resulting in only two runs. The baseball team fell to Linn-Mar 5-2 to finish the year with a record of 7-8.