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Beckman sweeps Solon

Solon on the road for baseball playoffs
Jake Van Roekel suffered a 7-4 loss to Beckman Catholic July 5 in Dyersville.

DYERSVILLE– Beckman Catholic was 7-2 in its last nine games.
Solon went 3-5-1 in its last nine.
The Spartans dipped to 17-12-2 on the season after dropping a doubleheader July 5 to the Blazers, who improved to 25-10.
Beckman took the opener 6-1, then broke open a tight game for a 7-4 win in the nightcap.
The Spartans had swept Williamsburg at home July 1, and a hitter’s game against Cedar Rapids Xavier was postponed with an 8-7 score after two-and-a-half innings July 2, but Solon Head Coach Keith McSweeney is concerned about his offense.
“We continue to struggle to score runs,” McSweeney said. “Against Williamsburg, we had several chances to blow the game open only to leave several runners stranded.
“As a result, our starters are being asked to go the distance and our margin for error has thinned,” he added. “We're missing the two-out hit right now and it will be vital for us to find it or it will be difficult to achieve our goals.”
At Dyersville, the Spartans managed one run on nine hits in game one and four runs on four hits in game two.
In the opener, Solon didn’t light the scoreboard until the top of the sixth when Chris McSweeney drove in Jackson Pipolo.
Starter Ryan Geistkemper gave up four earned runs on five hits over four innings, walking two and striking out two. Reliever Sully Steen allowed two earned runs on four hits over two innings with two strikeouts.
The Spartans had a momentary lead in the nightcap, scoring in the second inning. But the Blazers knotted it up in the third, took the lead in the fourth and broke it open with four runs in the fifth inning. Solon rallied back for two runs in the top of the seventh.
Cam Miller, Chris McSweeney, Adam Bock and Cole Arduser accounted for the Spartans’ hits, with RBI by Bock, Nolan Pattison, Geistkemper and Arduser.
Jake Van Roekel took the loss on the mound, striking out four and walking three while giving up six runs (two earned) on eight hits over four-2/3 innings. Mathieux Rehnke threw an inning and a third in relief, giving up a single run.
The Spartans will have a chance for some home cooking to end the regular season, and then it’s on the road for the Class 3A playoffs.
“We learned our pairing for the postseason and we'll face a Pella team with a strong tradition in the first game on July 19 at Oskaloosa,” Coach McSweeney reported. “A strong Oskaloosa team waits on the other side of the four-team district and Marion on the substate side.
“Unfortunately, we won't host any of our own postseason games for the first time in 12 years,” he added. “We'll need to be road warriors to get to Des Moines, but we believe we have the stuff to make it happen.”
Solon will try again at a twice-postponed doubleheader with Vinton-Shellsburg Thursday, July 11, then hosts Mount Pleasant for a single varsity game July 12. The regular season is scheduled to conclude with a one game against Iowa City City High at Mercer Field Monday, July 15, and another at Fairfield July 16.