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Bolts outlast the Warriors

Liberty holds off late attack from CR Wash for 8-7 substate win in nine innings

CEDAR RAPIDS– The Liberty High varsity baseball team overcame the first hurdle on the road to Des Moines, and the 2019 Class 4A State Baseball Tournament, on Friday, July 19, outlasting Cedar Rapids Washington, 8-7, in nine innings at home, Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, in a substate first round game.
The Bolts swept the Warriors, 15-10 and 5-2, both in eight-innings, a week before at Washington High and entered substate competition as the No.2 seeded team in Substate 7 behind top-seeded West Des Moines Dowling Catholic.
The game marked the return of Tyler Dahm to the Lightning’s line-up. Dahm, who had been benched since June 1 due to injury, made his presence known with a leadoff double in the bottom of the first inning. Nolan Frey drove him home for the Bolts’ first run of the game and a 1-0 lead. CR Washington answered with four runs in the top of the second, however, ending Frey’s time on the mound. He pitched the first two innings giving up two hits and four runs with one earned.
Frey drove an RBI single in the bottom of the third scoring Dahm for the second time in the ball game, and Keian Secrist drove Frey home with a single to make it a 4-3 contest. The Warriors plated one run in the top of the fourth making it 5-3 for Washington, but a three-run effort by the Bolts put Liberty on top 6-5. Ethan O’Donnell led off with a solo home run, his first of the season, before Isaac Bender doubled and scored on a Dahm RBI single to tie the game 5-5. The Warriors changed pitchers but the Bolts got the go-ahead run as Dahm scored on a loose ball for the 6-5 lead.
Scoreless fifth and sixth innings gave way to two runs by the Warriors in the top of the seventh on a two-RBI double, to take a 7-6 advantage. A sacrifice fly by Bender scored Cody Schroeder and tied the game, 7-7. Ethan O’Donnell took the mound for the Bolts and held the Warriors scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings. The Bolts threatened in the bottom of the eighth with loaded bases but were unable to convert. The winning run came in the bottom of the ninth as they again loaded up the bases and Hayden Vickroy scored the winning run, scampering home on a wild pitch.
Dahm and Bender led at the dish with two hits each. O’Donnell earned the win after his two scoreless innings on the mound. Liberty improved to 23-17 and advanced to face West Des Moines Valley, on Monday, July 22, at Mount Mercy in the semifinal round. Valley defeated Ottumwa, 10-2, in a first-round contest.
The winner advanced to take on West Des Moines Dowling Catholic on Wednesday, July 24, at the Maroon’s diamond, for a spot in the state tourney.
The 2019 state tournament runs from Friday, July 26, through Saturday, Aug. 3, at Principal Park in Des Moines. Class 4A action begins at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 31, with quarterfinal games. The 4A semifinals are set for Friday, Aug. 2, with the championship played at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3.

Liberty High 8, Cedar Rapids Washington 7
Hits– Tyler Dahm 2, Isaac Bender 2, Nolan Frey 1, Keian Secrist 1, Ethan O’Donnell 1, Jacob Norris 1.
Home Run– O’Donnell.
Double– Dahm, Norris.
Pitching– Frey, Norris, O’Donnell (W).
Frey– 2 innings, 2 hits, 4 runs (1 earned), 2 walks, 3 strikeouts.
Norris– 5 innings, 3 hits, 3 runs (unearned), 5 walks, 8 strikeouts.
O’Donnell– 2 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts.