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Liberty High baseball preview

Bolts make the move up to varsity

NORTH LIBERTY– Liberty High fielded its first baseball team, at the freshman level, last spring and will enter varsity competition for the first time this year. The “Bolts” have a big man at the helm in Head Coach Tom Cronk.
Cronk was the right-hand man to veteran Iowa City West Coach Charlie Stumpff for two decades and an integral part of a program that made six state tournament trips in eight years with a current streak of four years consecutive. Brent Kimm will assist Cronk after leading the freshman team last year. Jacob Neilsen, Tom Smith and Uby Martinez will also serve as assistant coaches for the Lightning.
Cronk listed four key players: Nolan Frey (pitcher/outfielder), Sam Funke (catcher), Jonah Warren (pitcher/infielder) and Tyler White (outfielder).
“We are very young with only five upper classmen and zero varsity appearances,” Cronk noted.
Liberty High will officially join the Mississippi Valley Conference (MVC) this fall, so remains “independent” through the summer sports. This means the Bolts will face a hodge-podge of teams across conferences and classes. “We tried to put together a challenging schedule that will prepare us for joining the MVC in 2019,” Cronk said. “We play City High, West, Solon, Clear Creek Amana and Regina this year.”
The season opens on Monday, May 21, with a doubleheader against Solon in Solon starting at 5 p.m. Home games will be divided between Mount Mercy University’s diamond in northeast Cedar Rapids, the University of Iowa’s facilities and Penn Meadows Park, which was “home” last year. Liberty High’s athletic complex is currently under construction.
“We are very excited to enter varsity competition this season,” said Cronk.

2018 Liberty High Varsity Baseball Schedule
Monday, May 21 AT Solon (doubleheader) 5 p.m.
Thursday, May 24 AT Cedar Rapids Jefferson (Vet’s Mem. Park) 7 p.m.
Friday, May 25 HOME (Mt. Mercy) Vs. Xavier 7 p.m.
Tuesday, May 29 AT Davenport Assumption 5 p.m.
Wednesday, May 30 AT Dubuque Hempstead (JV/Varsity) 3:30 p.m.
Friday, June 1 AT Davenport Central (Brady St. Stadium) 5 p.m.
Tuesday, June 5 HOME (Mt. Mercy) Vs. Notre Dame 5 p.m.
Thursday, June 7 AT Marion 5 p.m.
Friday, June 8 HOME (U of I) Vs. Tipton (doubleheader) 5 p.m.
Monday, June 11 HOME (U of I) Vs. Washington (doubleheader) 5 p.m.
Wednesday, June 13 HOME (Mt. Mercy) Vs. Fairfield (doubleheader) 5 p.m.
Saturday, June 16 HOME (U of I) Liberty High Classic -
Tuesday, June 19 AT Benton Community (Van Horne) -
Thursday, June 21 AT North Scott HS (Eldridge) 5 p.m.
Friday, June 22 AT Clinton (Durgin Complex) 5 p.m.
Monday, June 25 AT Principal Park (Des Moines) Vs. Pleasantville -
Tuesday, June 26 AT Dubuque Wahlert (McAleece Park) 5 p.m.
Wednesday, June 27 HOME (TBD) Vs. Alburnett (doubleheader) 5 p.m.
Friday, June 29 AT Iowa City Regina 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 30 AT Cedar Rapids Kennedy Invitational 10 a.m.
Tuesday, July 3 AT Fairfield -
Thursday, July 5 HOME (Penn Meadows Park North) Vs. Marion 5 p.m.
Friday, July 6 AT Bettendorf 5 p.m.
Monday, July 9 AT Iowa City West 7 p.m.
Wednesday, July 11 AT City High (Mercer Park) 7 p.m.