Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Over the course of three varsity seasons Carter Seaton has learned that not every game is going to come out a perfect masterpiece.
It is those imperfect performances that can make the difference throughout a season.
“Sometimes,” Seaton said on Monday. “You have to win ugly.”
Monday was far from perfect for Class 4A second-ranked City High but the Little Hawks found a way to come away with a split in a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader with Class 3A fifth-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier at Mercer Park in Iowa City.
City High (21-7, 16-6) won the opener 6-5 with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning and Cedar Rapids Xavier (21-6, 19-3) earned the split with a 7-4 win in the nightcap.
“I thought we were really good in the first game and we want to win those games and it is a little bit disappointing but it’s also about perspective,” City High coach Brian Mitchell said. “We have some perspective about where we are and we aren’t going to get all bent out of shape about one game because we have the defending state champion in Pleasant Valley tomorrow.”
City High let a four-run lead slip away and committed a season-high seven errors in the opener but still found a way to get a win against a top-five team.
The Little Hawks scored two runs in the first and third innings off Xavier ace Alex Neal and led 5-1 after tacking on a run in the fifth when Seaton led off with a single and scored on an Alex Knudtson sacrifice fly.
“They are a good team, they swing it and they are really well coached and they threw their one and I thought we had a really good approach at the plate the first game,” Mitchell said. “We got a little sloppy but I thought we were really good.”
Xavier took advantage of four City High errors while scoring two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to tie the game at 5-all.
City High answered quickly.
Senior Joey Bouska reached on an error leading off the seventh and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Seaton.
After Gable Mitchell was intentionally walked and Cade Obermueller was hit by a pitch to load the bases Bouska scored on a game-winning Knudtson sacrifice fly to center field.
“In the first game we just really battled,” Seaton said. “They tied the game and we had to come back and win the game in the seventh but that’s how you have to do it sometimes.”
Seniors Bouska, Seaton, Mitchell and Obermueller accounted for all five City High hits and all six Little Hawk runs in the game-one win.
“That’s what we’ve talked about is the guys that are leading this team have been playing together for a long time,” Gable Mitchell said. “That is paying off and we are seeing a lot of good results now we just have to put it all together.”
Xavier got a complete game from junior Eli Brecht to win the nightcap as the right-hander allowing four runs on 10 hits.
Mitchell, Obermueller and Knudtson all had two hits for City High in game two as the Little Hawks held a 10-8 edge in hits.
“We are down some pitching but we just have to play our game, play small ball, bunt, run and play good defense,” Seaton said. “That kind of got away from us in the second game.
CR Xavier 000 012 2 – 5 3 4
City High 202 010 1 – 6 5 7
W – Gable Mitchell L – Alex Neal
3B – ICH: Gable Mitchell
CR Xavier 302 200 0 – 7 8 2
City High 102 010 0 – 4 10 1
W – Eli Brecht L – Alex Knudtson
2B – ICH: Carter Seaton, Cade Obermueller (2), Alex Knudtson. CRX: Alex Neal, Aidan Henry, Carlos Baez-Perez, Drew Proskovec
3B – CRX: Alex Neal