Scheels Athlete of the Week: City High Sophomore Young Shines In Postseason as Little Hawks Return to State Tournament
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IOWA CITY – Watching Talon Young as a freshman last season it was easy for the City High coach staff to see the young right hander was going to be key piece of the rotation in the future.
In his first varsity season Young went 3-2 with a 2.33 ERA with 26 strikeouts over 33 innings.
A solid stat line for any pitcher let alone a freshman making his varsity debut.
While the early results were good it has always been the intangibles of Young that have stood out to City High coach Brian Mitchell.
“I’ve seen him over the years, I’ve seen him in different events and maybe when it doesn’t matter to somebody else it matters to him,” Mitchell said. “It always matters to him and that’s why he’s so good.”
In just his second varsity season Young has become more than just a part of the rotation the sophomore right-hander has emerged as the ace of the Little Hawk staff.
Young is 8-0 with a .72 ERA and .91 WHIP in a breakthrough sophomore season in which he has established himself as one of the top young pitchers in the state.
The right-hander ranks in the top 10 in Class 4A in wins, ERA, WHIP and innings pitched (58 1.3) while helping City High return to the state tournament for the second consecutive season.
“It’s awesome to be going back to state,” Young said. “Last year I was heartbroken when we lost in the semifinals so I used it as motivation to work my butt off all offseason.”
Following his strong freshman season it was a safe bet that Young would only get better the more he pitched.
That has certainly been the case this season.
The longer the season has gone the better Young has pitched.
Over his last 46 innings Young has allowed just five runs and only four earned runs, an ERA of just .61.
Young has walked just one batter while striking out 20 over his last 21 innings pitched, a stretch that includes complete game postseason wins over Muscatine and Pleasant Valley and a win over Liberty High.
“I love the result, he just keeps working through things,” Mitchell said. “There is nothing he does that makes you say ‘wow this guys is unreal’ but he knows how to pitch and mix speeds and all of those things.”
Young has been at his absolute best in the postseason posting back-to-back complete games in substate play to send City High back to state.
He struck out a career-high 11 in his first career postseason start allowing just three hits with one walk and a hit batter in a 2-1 win over Muscatine in the substate quarterfinals.
“That Muscatine game was tough, their pitcher and catcher were tough so don’t let that score fool you,” Mitchell said. “They were good but Talon was really good in that game.”
Five days later Young limited Pleasant Valley to just one run on six hits while striking out two without issuing a walk in a 6-1 win over the Spartans in the substate championship game.
After giving up a run on three hits in the opening inning Young allowed just three baserunners over the final six innings in the substate title game win.
“Every run I’ve gave up this whole year has been in the first so I’ve learned not to get rattled about it,” Young said. “I’m not saying I’m used to it but I don’t get rattled, I just keep my composure and once I get out of the first I know I’m going to start rolling.”