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Mustangs take two from the Bolts

Liberty baseball falls, 7-6 and 7-2, to Dubuque Hempstead
Liberty High’s Ethan O’Donnell delivers a pitch in the bottom of the first inning of game one of a varsity doubleheader Monday, July 1, at Mount Mercy University, in Cedar Rapids. . (photo by Chris Umscheid)

CEDAR RAPIDS– Liberty High dipped to 15-13 for the season in the wake of a varsity doubleheader sweep Monday, July 1, to the Dubuque Hempstead Mustangs, at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids.
The double dip was originally scheduled to be played in Dubuque, but field conditions prompted the move to the Lightning’s home away from home (the baseball diamond awaits completion on the Liberty High campus), with the Bolts in the role as the visiting team.
The Bolts threatened in the top of the first inning, but left Keian Secrist stranded. The Mustangs, on the other hand, had a very productive bottom of the first courtesy of a two-run home run and a solo shot gave them a 3-0 lead over Liberty. An RBI triple for the Mustangs in the bottom of the second made it 4-0. The Bolts lit up the scoreboard in the top of the sixth as Nolan Frey singled and Secrist knocked a stand-up double before catcher Sam Funke slammed a two-RBI single to make it a 4-2 ballgame. Liberty sought to narrow the gap even further as they loaded the bases but were unable to capitalize. The Lightning flashed for three runs in the seventh as Funke hammered a three-run homer for a 5-4 lead. Hempstead tied the game in the bottom of the inning sending the contest into extra innings. Isaac Bender slapped a sacrifice fly to bring home a runner in the top of the eighth, but a two-RBI hit by the Mustangs in the bottom half sealed their fate in a 7-6 loss.
Bender led the Bolts at the plate with three hits. Funke and Jack Kinzer had two apiece. Isaiah Pihl relieved Ethan O’Donnell for the seventh and eighth innings and was charged with the loss after giving up four hits and three earned runs.
The Mustangs plated one runner in the bottom of the first inning of the nightcap and put up five runs in the third. Liberty brought Secrist and Alec Boldt across the plate in the top of the fifth with RBIs by Funke and T.J. Kimm. Hempstead scored their final run in the sixth for the 7-2 final score.
Frey led the Bolts with two hits and Secrist knocked a double. Cayden Duhaime was charged with the loss after two innings of work. Duhaime gave up two hits and one earned run, walked two and struck out two. Hempstead improved to 18-10 with the sweep.
Liberty travels to Cedar Rapids Washington on Friday, July 12, for a 5 p.m. doubleheader, and hosts Western Dubuque, Epworth in an 11 a.m. Saturday doubleheader. The Bolts travel to Davenport Central’s Brady Street Stadium on Monday, July 15, with a 7 p.m. varsity start and wrap up the regular season with a visit to the Marion Indians on Tuesday, July 16, with a 7 p.m. varsity start in a non-conference contest.
The postseason and a shot at the 2019 Class 4A state championships, at Principal Park in Des Moines, starts on Friday, July 19, as the Bolts host Cedar Rapids Washington in a Class 4A Substate 7 contest at 7 p.m. Ames and West Des Moines Dowling, and Valley, West Des Moines and Ottumwa will also do battle in Substate 7 contests with the highest remaining seed earning a bye to the substate final game on Wednesday, July 24. The substate semifinal is set for Monday, July 22, at a location to be determined.

Game One
Dubuque Hempstead 7, Liberty High School 6 (8 innings)
Hits- Isaac Bender 3, Sam Funke 2, Jack Kinzer 2, Nolan Frey 1, Keian Secrist 1, Cayden Duhaime 1, Cody Schroeder 1.
Home Run- Funke.
Double- Secrist.
Pitching- Ethan O’Donnell, Isaiah Pihl (L).
O’Donnell- 6 innings, 10 hits, 4 earned runs, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts.
Pihl- 1-2/3 innings, 4 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 walk.
Game Two
Dubuque Hempstead 7, Liberty High School 2.
Hits- Frey 2, Bender 1, Secrist 1, TJ Kimm 1, Jacob Norris 1, Kinzer 1.
Double- Secrist.
Pitching- Duhaime (L), Funke, Pihl, Schroeder.
Duhaime- 2 innings, 1 earned run, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts.
Funke- 2 innings, 1 hit, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 1 strike out.
Pihl- 1 inning, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts.
Schroeder- 1 inning, 6 hits, 5 earned runs, 1 walk, 1 strike out.