Your Prep Sports
Liberty High is one step away from a return trip to the state baseball tournament.
The Lightning took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and never trailed in a 3-2 win over Davenport Central on Monday in a Class 4A, Substate 2 semifinal in North Liberty.
The win was the Liberty High fourth in a row and sixth in the last seven games for Liberty High
(22-17) which will play at second-ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie (33-6) in the substate title game on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Cedar Rapids Prairie swept Liberty High in a doubleheader on June 5 in North Liberty winning 5-0 and 6-3.
Davenport Central closed the season 16-21.
Liberty High starter Nolan Sojka struck out Nolan Gibbs swinging to escape a bases loaded jam in the first inning and the Lightning wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning.
Luke Ramsey singled with one out and scored in a wild pitch following a Cooper Hughes single.
Liberty High tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third.
Ramsey and Hughes led off the inning with back-to-back singles and Ramsey scored on a wild pitch and Hughes scored on a Mason Gardner sacrifice fly.
Sojka earned the win allowing two runs on three hits while striking out three and walking three in four innings.
Kael O’Donnell, Andrew Olthoff and Owen Norris all worked scoreless innings of relief to preserve the lead.
Norris allowed a hit but fanned two in the seventh inning to pick up the save.
Ramsey was 2-for-3 and scored two runs while Hughes was 3-for-3 with a run scored for the Lightning.
Jackson Khamphilanouvong went 2-for-3 and Braden O’Connor added a hit for the Lightning while Gardner drove in a run.
Davenport Central 000 200 0 – 2 5 1
Liberty High 102 000 x – 3 8 0
W – Nolan Sojka L – Charles Wooldridge SV – Owen Norris