Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – A note for teams that may face City High sophomore ace Talon Young in the future.
Call it fair warning for future opponents.
If you are going to get anything going against Young, you’d better do it early.
“Every run I have gave up this whole year has been in the first so I’ve learned not to get rattled,” Young explained. “I think all eight runs I’ve given up this year have been in the first so I don’t get rattled, I keep my composure and I know when I get past the first I’ll get rolling.”
In Wednesday’s substate title game Pleasant Valley got a run on three consecutive singles in the first inning.
That wasn’t nearly enough to rattle Young or stop City High from a second consecutive state tournament trip.
Fourth-ranked City High scored five unanswered runs as Young bounced back from the first-inning run with six shutout innings as the Little Hawks advanced to the 4A state tournament with a 5-1 win over ninth-ranked Pleasant Valley at Mercer Park in Iowa City.
“He’s a bulldog, he’s a competitor,” City High coach Brian Mitchell said of Young. “He was really good (in the substate quarterfinals) against Muscatine. I’ve seen him over the years and he’s a competitor and it always matters to him and that’s why he’s good.”
City High used a four-run third inning to erase the early deficit and return to the 4A state tournament for the third time in the past four seasons.
Surging City High (30-12) will bring a 13-game winning streak into the 4A quarterfinals on Tuesday at Banks Field in Iowa City.
“It feels good,” City High sophomore third baseman Dominic Salibi said. “At the beginning of the year we were splitting a lot and we knew we had a chance to be special and now we are showing that and it feels good.”
Pleasant Valley (27-16) took an early lead on three consecutive singles by Tyge Lyon, Cal Parr and Carsen Williams in the top of the first inning.
Young avoided further damage by stranding runners on first and third as he got Tate Lyon to line out to short and Ike Swanson to ground out to short to end the inning.
“I think that always gives me confidence, to get out of a jam, I’m not saying it is good that I give up a run in the first inning but I think I get confidence when I get out of it with runners on,” Young said. “I was confident after that.”
After the first inning Young was nearly flawless.
He retired 10 straight following a two-out infield single by Finnley Martinolich in the second inning and allowed just three baserunners after the first inning.
Young retired the final five batters he faced, stranding runners on second and third in the sixth as he got back-to-back ground outs to end the threat.
“I love the result, he just keeps working through things,” Mitchell said. “There is nothing with him that you look and say, ‘wow this guy is unreal’ but he knows how to pitch and mix speeds and he really competes.”
The sophomore right-hander struck out two and didn’t walk a batter in a complete game six-hitter.
“I was throwing my changeup a lot and the first inning I was leaving that up and leaving my curve ball up,” Young said. “When I kept those pitches down I was able to get grounders. I was just pitching to contact, I don’t care about strikeouts I just want to get outs.”
City High took control of the game in the fourth.
Jaxton Schroeder led off with a double down the first base line and leadoff hitter Carsen Newton followed with a bunt single.
Jake Mitchell plated Schroeder with a sacrifice bunt to tie the score at 1-1.
After a walk to DJ Hodges Drew Carlson, Salibi and Kael Kurtz had consecutive RBI singles that gave the Little Hawks a 4-1 lead they would never give up.
“We were just working at bats, we were trying to put balls in play and make them make plays and put pressure on them,” Carlson said. “Jackson had a big hit and got us some good momentum.”
Carlson gave City High the lead when he drove an 0-2 curveball from Pleasant Valley starter Lincoln Dalton into shallow center field for a single.
“I was sitting curveball because I know that’s probably my weakness as a hitter,” Carlson said. “I saw it out of his hand and was able to drive it over the short stop’s head.”
Salibi followed with an RBI single to right and Kurtz bounced a single through the left side of the infield to score Carlson.
“We were attacking and looking early in the count,” Salibi said. “We were able to get on him a little bit.”
Six different Little Hawks all had a hit in the win.
Pleasant Valley 100 000 0 – 1 6 2
City High 004 001 x – 5 6 0
W – Talon Young L – Lincoln Dalton
2B – ICH: Jaxton Schroeder