Liberty High Downs Defending State Champion Pleasant Valley to Earn First State Tournament Appearance
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There will be a new Class 4A state champion in 2022 Liberty High made sure of that on Wednesday.
Liberty High continued a magical postseason run with a 5-4 win over defending state champion Pleasant Valley on Wednesday in the 4A, Substate 5 title game in Bettendorf.
The win sends Liberty High (21-19) to the state tournament for the first time in program history where the Lightning will play on Tuesday at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City.
Ninth-ranked Pleasant Valley had a string of three consecutive state tournament appearances end with the loss and closes the season 24-12.
Liberty High snapped a 4-4 tie with a run in the top of the seventh inning when junior Luke Ramsey led off the inning with his third single of the game and scored the go-ahead run on a Spartan error.
Jackson Khamphilanouvong recorded the final five outs to earn the win for Liberty High, allowing just a one-out walk to Drew Micek in the bottom of the seventh.
Liberty High led 4-1 after a run in the sixth inning but the Spartans plated three in the bottom of the inning to pull even.
It was Liberty High that made the plays late on its way to earning its first ever trip to state.
Boyd Skelley allowed one run on three hits over 4 2/3 innings for the Lightning before giving way to the bullpen.
Ramsey went 3-for-3 and scored three runs to lead Liberty High while Evan Chandler had a triple and drove in a run and Luke Mayer had a double and drove in two.
Mason Gardner had a hit and scored a run and Jack Funke and Owen Norris each added hits.
Luke Meyers drove in a run for the Lightning.
Liberty High 001 021 1 – 5 8 1
Pleasant Valley 100 003 0 – 4 4 1
W – Jackson Khamphilanouvong L – Barrett Lindmark
2B – ICL: Luke Mayer. PV: Tyge Lyon
3B – ICL: Evan Chandler