Bobcats edge Xavier in 9 innings

Monday, June 20, 2020 , at Cedar Rapids Xavier

3A Regional Final

Benton 3, Xavier 2

BC 000 001 002 - 3
XV 001 000 001 - 2

Benton Community (11-11) won a big district final game Monday, July 20, when they defeated No. 6 Xavier (14-4), 3-2, in nine innings at Xavier High School, Cedar Rapids.

The Bobcats had 7 hits. Landen Schmuecker was 2 for 4 with a double. Justise McFarland had a double and 2 RBIs. Cade Timmerman had 1 RBI. The team had 1 error. Winning pitcher Timmerman threw for 8 innings, allowed 8 hits, 1 earned run, hit one batter, walked 3 and struck out 1. Drew Lange threw for 1 inning, allowed 2 hits and 1 earned run. Xavier had 10 hits. Going 2 for 4 were Alex Neal, Jack Lux and Nicholas Fisher. They had no errors. Neal was the losing pitcher, allowing 4 hits in 3 innings of work, 2 earned runs, striking out 3. Ben Kisting threw 6 innings, allowed 3 hits, 1 earned run, walked 1, hit one batter and struck out 2.

The Bobcats celebrate a regional win over Xavier. Photo from Benton Community.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020, at Van Horne

3A regional final

Benton (13-11) 6, South Tama (7-17) 5

ST 000 041 000 - 5
BC 000 011 301 - 6

A late-game rally helped Benton to a substate title and berth in the state tournament in an exciting game against WaMaC rival South Tama, 6-5, Wednesday, July 22, at Van Horne.

South Tama had a big four-run fifth inning to take a 4-0 lead, and added to that in the sixth. Benton battled back with a 3-run seventh inning, and then scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Benton had 12 hits. Brady Sadler was 2 for 5. Ian Rupp was 2 for 4 with a triple and 1 RBI. Cade Timmerman was 4 for 5 with a double and 1 RBI. Landen Schmuecker was 2 for 5 with a double and the game-winning RBI. Drew Lange had 2 RBIs. Aiden Harris also had one RBI.

The team had 2 errors.

Brady Sadler started the game, throwing 7 innings, allowing 12 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 2 walks and 7 strikeouts. Drew Lange picked up the win relief, throwing 2 innings, allowing 2 hits, no walks and he struck out 1.

Seventh-seeded Benton (13-11) faces second-seeded Dallas Center-Grimes (17-3) Tuesday, July 28, at 4:30 p.m. at Principal Park, Des Moines. A game preview is linked here.


Coach Derek Anderson’s comments:

We have won in a variety of ways and played different types of teams throughout our postseason run. Independence was a young team overall and has one of the best hitting lineups in class 3A. Their pitcher, Hupke, was able to keep our lineup in check and get the win in Van Horne when we played in the regular season. In our postseason game against him we were able to get a run in the first inning against him and our offense continued to score runs throughout the game to extend our lead. Drew Lange really extended the lead with a grand slam in the top of the 6th inning which put us up 9-1. Cade Timmerman was set to pitch the bottom of the 6th inning with only a 4 run lead and that at bat allowed us to hold him back and instead throw Drew the final 2 innings. This would allow us to have Cade fully rested against a big challenge in Cedar Rapids Xavier. Brady Sadler threw 5 solid innings and our defense was really good to go with a tremendous offensive output by our entire lineup.

Xavier was the defending state champions and though they only returned one starter were able to reload and finished the year as the #5 team in the state. They were a very complete team and we saw a very good pitcher in Bisting, which complimented their good defense, and exceptional lineup. For the Bobcats to win the District Final matchup, we needed to play one of our best games of the season. Both teams had opportunities throughout the first 4 innings to score runs, but the pitchers did a good job of not allowing runs. Cade Timmerman threw 8 innings and only gave up 1 run against a really good Xavier offense. He also hit a big solo home run to tie the game late. Cade was able to work out of trouble in the 8th inning by getting a fly ball to RF and a ground ball to second base to end the inning with a runner on 3B who reached there with 1 out. With 1 out in the 9th, Schmuecker hit a double down the RF line. After a strikeout, Harris intentionally walked to get to McFarland with 2 outs. Justise proceeded to drive the first pitch he saw over the CF head to score 2 on his double. Drew Lange came in to pitch the 9th, giving up 1 run and got their top 2 hitters out with the tying run on second base to win it.

South Tama posed a different challenge than the previous two teams. To win the substate championship we would need to find a way to regroup from an emotional extra inning win to play a team who defeated a very good Waverly-Shell Rock team and Charles City team. They were a young team, but we’re playing as good as anyone the last two weeks of the season. With their ace on the mound, Wiese, they were a very good team. He did exactly what we thought he would do and use three pitches to keep our hitters off balance. He did an excellent job of that in the 6 innings he pitched. We had opportunities to put runs up but were unable to get that 2 out hit and South Tama made some really good plays in the field to prevent runs from scoring. Through 6 full innings, we faced adversity which we had not seen in the previous two games. We didn’t touch home plate, misplayed a couple of ground balls, missed some signs, and gave up a 3 run home run. I’m sure it was at this time that people were wondering if this improbable run was near its end. But Brady was able to get out of a bases loaded jam in the 7th with no runs to keep the game within 3 runs. To have a comeback like we were able to do, the leadoff man needs to get on base. Turner Schroeder had the at bat of his career by drawing a walk after fouling back numerous pitches, Brady Sadler has a great 2 strike at bat ending in a base hit, Ian Rupp finds a way on after a misplayed ball by the second baseman, and with 2 outs and runners moving up on a passed ball Drew Lange gets an infield hit to score the tying runs. Drew Lange goes out and throws 2 solid innings, capped off by our defense throwing a runner out at 3B. The 9th inning was our friend again with Sadler reaching on an error, Rupp perfectly executing a bunt which was misplayed, Timmerman coming up big with a base hit, and Schmuecker launching the first pitch to LF to score Brady and win the game. The home field crowd played a major role in our comeback. The field was electric in the 7th inning and you could see it affecting their players. The noise level continued to increase after each pitch and it was sustained throughout the 7th into the extra innings. We can’t thank our community enough for the support that we have received from them!

Benton Bobcats celebrate a substate win before a South Tama pitcher in the 6-5 win Wednesday at Van Horne.
Aiden Harris tags the runner out at third in a key play late in the Benton win over South Tama for the right to play in the state tournament.

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