By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – How do you make sure your team is ready for a rare Saturday morning baseball game?
Playing a team that accounted for one of only seven losses the previous season certainly doesn’t hurt.
Class 4A second-ranked West High was wide awaken early for its Saturday morning non-conference contest with Williamsburg on Saturday scoring five first-inning runs on its way to a 9-3 win at West High.
“Last year we came in thinking we would run by them and easily win and that came to bite us in the butt,” West high senior third baseman Ono-Fullard said. “Coming in we knew we had to jump on them early and when we got some runs that helped (starting pitcher) Jack (Wilson) out and he could settle down.”
Sophomore Jason Strunk and Nate Disterhoft each had a two-run single in the five-run first inning and Ono-Fullard added a two-run double in the fifth inning as West High improved to 4-0.
It was a stark contrast from last season when Williamsburg scored three runs in the opening inning on its way to a 5-3 win over West High.
“I think it was extremely important to get on them big early,” Strunk said. “We wanted to get out quick and we were able to do that.”
The first five West High batters came around to score as West High jumped to a 5-0 lead.
Logan Sims was hit by a pitch to open the game, Ono-Fullard single and Connor McCaffery walked to load the bases.
“It really starts with Logan,” Ono-Fullard said. “When he gets on base that kind of gets everything going.”
Strunk laced a two-run single to right center to put West Higih on top and Disterhoft followed with an RBI single down the first base line.
Dane Randall had an RBI groundout that put the Trojans up 5-0.
“We put up five early and that was big,” West High coach Charlie Stumpff said. “We would have liked to have put up more and keep moving but that’s the nature of it sometimes.”
That was all the offense West High would need as three different West High pitchers combined to limit the Raiders to six hits.
Wilson allowed two runs on three hits as the starter while Jacob Peterson tossed two innings of hitless relief before Tony Comellas worked the final two innings.
It ended up that way because of getting rained out last night,” Stumpff said of using three pitchers. “Comellas was supposed to throw last night and Jack was supposed to throw today so when we got rained out we just split it because they will both throw next week because we don’t want somebody sitting there forever.”
West High pitchers struck out nine but walked seven on Saturday.
“We just have to throw more strikes, that is what we are still working to get,” Stumpff said. “Jack and Tony have good stuff but we have to throw more strikes. That has been a theme all week.”
Williamsburg 002 000 1 – 3 6 3
West High 500 040 x – 9 5 0
W – Jack Wilson L – Zach Steckly
2B – ICW: Izaya Ono-Fullard