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Trojans pick off Prairie and head for state

5-2 win sends West to Des Moines for second year in a row
The West High Trojans march off the field with their 2015 State Championships Qualifier banner after defeating Cedar Rapids Prairie, 5-2, in a Class 4A Substate No. 6 Final, at Prairie, on Wednesday, July 22. The Trojans will return to Des Moines for the second year in a row and the sixth trip in the past seven years. (photos by Chris Umscheid)

CEDAR RAPIDS– West High’s Trojans, ranked eighth in the state in Class 4A, knocked off fifth-ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie in a substate final game Wednesday, July 22, for the right to compete in the state baseball championships.
West took the 5-2 win at Prairie in front of a capacity crowd for its second consecutive state tournament campaign.
The Trojans opened the contest with a run in the top of the first inning. Kevin DeLaney, who made history just days before in a substate semifinal against Ottumwa by hitting the cycle (single, double, triple and home run), led off with a single and scored on a base hit by Connor McCaffery.
Prairie tied the game at one run each in the bottom of the third, leading to a stalemate in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Spencer Wiskus doubled for West but was left stranded.
The Trojans gutted out four runs in the sixth to break the game wide open. Wiskus belted out a second double to score pinch runner Dane Randall. Mason Carter took Wiskus’ place on base as a courtesy runner, and came home on an RBI single by Oliver Martin.
With West up 3-1, and with two men on and only one out, the Hawks changed pitchers. A balk by the new man advanced the runners. Walking Nate Disterhoft loaded the bases. Tanner Lohaus came up with a base hit to score two runs and give West a 5-1 lead.
The Hawks scored one run in the bottom of the inning and threatened more as Austin Miller stepped off the mound and Izaya Ono-Fullard stepped on to close out the game. Miller gave up four hits and two runs (both earned) in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked three. Ono-Fullard pitched 1 2/3 innings, giving up only one hit, and striking out three batters.
The Trojans put up nine hits from DeLaney (two), Ono-Fullard (two), Wiskus (two), McCaffrey (one), Martin (one) and Lohaus (one).
Stumpff, no stranger to Principal Park stadium and the state championships, took the win in his usual stride, saying, “We have just been playing really, really well (since a 13-9 standing earlier in the season). Our young guys, we’ve got a bunch of sophomores (Ono-Fullard, McCaffery, Martin, Disterhoft and Randall) in there that have come up big and Kevin (DeLaney)’s been leading us all year… and we just came up with some timely hits tonight and that’s usually how it’s going to happen in games like this.”
Stumpff ran through a list of ills that plagued the team earlier in the season, but with 19 wins and only two losses since the low point against Kennedy, the veteran coach said, “We kind-of got a second wind and we’re feeling really good about ourselves.”
“We’re very excited to be going back to Des Moines,” he added.
The Trojans (32-11) entered the 4A state tournament seeded third and faced No. 6 Des Moines East (23-20) in the quarterfinal round on Wednesday, July 29.