Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Wednesday marked 51 weeks since City High lost the substate final at Ottumwa last July.
It seemed like only yesterday to Cade Obermueller.
“That one stuck with me all season,” Obermueller said of the 2-1 loss to the Bulldogs.
Second-ranked City High and its senior ace finally got their redemption on Wednesday.
Obermueller tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings and City High scored in all but one at bat on in an 8-0 win over Bettendorf (15-21) in the Class 4A, Substate 6 title game at Mercer Field in Iowa City.
“We all hated that feeling last year,” Obermueller said. “We didn’t want that again and the job isn’t done here but we are all happy today.”
Obermueller struck out 13 and allowed just two hits on Wednesday as City High (31-8) advanced to the Class 4A state tournament for the second time in three seasons.
City High will open state tournament play across town on Tuesday at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City.
“I don’t know if we settled after making it to state two years ago, we might not have put enough work in during the offseason coming back last year,” City High senior shortstop Gable Mitchell said. “This last year a bunch of us have been hitting together since October and it’s been paying off.”
Everyone in the City High lineup had a hand in Wednesday’s win but none more than Obermueller who waited nearly a year to make amends for last season’s substate loss.
Obermueller was good in last year’s substate final against Ottumwa, striking out 10 and allowing just two hits in 5 1/3 innings.
On Wednesday Obermueller was nearly perfect.
The Iowa recruit and MLB draft prospect didn’t allow a hit until the fourth and yielded just a pair of singles and a walk in 5 1/3 innings.
“He gets amped up but he has just been so composed attacking the zone and he has so much movement there and has the velocity,” City High coach Brian Mitchell said. “He has been in a really good place for the last few weeks.”
Obermueller struck out all four batters he faced in the second inning as Casey Krager reached on a wild pitch on strike three.
The four-strikeout inning was part of a stretch in which Obermueller fanned six straight and was one of two times the senior left-hander struck out the side.
“I was getting ahead right away and everything works off of that,” Obermueller said. “You have to get ahead and that’s my goal every game.”
Unlike a year ago City High had plenty of offensive support for Obermueller in the substate title game.
Seven different Little Hawks had a hit on Wednesday as City High pounded out 11 hits in the game.
“We were tight last year which I didn’t expect because we had been loose the first two games but there was none of that,” Brian Mitchell said. “After Cade shut them down the first half Joey came out and getting that hit right away just really got us going.”
Obermueller retired Bettendorf in order in the top of the first and Joey Bouska led off the City High first with a single up the middle and scored two batters later on an RBI single by Gable Mitchell.
Mitchell later scored on a RBI double by Obermueller.
“It’s just confidence,” Bouska said. “When you start like that everyone is up. Of course, every game you want to get out early but that was really a goal for us tonight.”
City High added a run in the second when Drew Carlson scored after a leadoff double and tacked on a run in the third when Mitchell led off with a single and scored on a throwing error.
“Getting on the board early on helps us tremendously,” Brian Mitchell said. “We got that first run and it took a lot of tension away.”
Mitchell, and Obermueller, Carlson and Grant Ernst all had two hits for City High while Ernst drove in two runs.
Carlson scored twice and Mitchell scored three runs for City High.
Bettendorf 000 000 0 – 0 4 1
City High 211 031 x – 8 12 0
W – Cade Obermueller L – Luke Bohonek
2B – ICH: Cade Obermueller, Drew Carlson