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Trojans sweep Little Hawks despite ejections

West High wins 3-2 and 1-0 over City High
West High’s Alex Schwickerath celebrates tagging out City High’s Cole Milder (as Milder reacts in shock) at second base Friday, June 8, at Mercer Park in Iowa City as the West High Trojans faced the City High Little Hawks in the second game of a two-day rivalry doubleheader. The Trojans won Thursday, June 7, at home (3-2) and took the second game (on City’s diamond) 1-0 for the sweep. (photo by Chris Umscheid)

IOWA CITY– Athletic contests between Iowa City West High and crosstown rival City High are always full of emotion, energy and excitement.
And the two-day varsity baseball doubleheader was no exception as the West High Trojans swept the Little Hawks 3-2 (Thursday, June 7, at West High) and 1-0 (Friday, June 8, at Mercer Park, City High’s diamond).
The Little Hawks scored the first run of the annual double-dip in the top of the first in game one. The Trojans answered with two runs in the bottom of the third and added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth before City put up its second and, as it turned out, last run of the series in the top of the sixth.
Braden Houston took the win for the Trojans after going the distance on the mound. Houston gave up four hits and two runs (one earned) and struck out six. Houston helped himself at the dish with two hits and one RBI. Jason Strunk, Chase Calderwood, Alex Granner and Alex Schwickerath had one hit apiece in the contest with a double and an RBI for Granner.
Strunk was ejected from the game for arguing with the umpire, and was therefore suspended for game two.
Two more ejections hit West High in the second game after an incident in the top of the sixth inning. The game had gone scoreless through five innings when Chase Calderwood singled in the top of the sixth for West. Owen McAreavy singled deep to left field and was replaced on base by Mason Sorge. Jayson Barnes drove in Calderwood for what would become the winning run. Sorge advanced to third base as the bags loaded up for the Trojans. He was caught a bit too far off the bag, which resulted in a rundown situation. City High catcher Liam McComas had the ball thrown to him, which was dropped. In a spectacular home plate collision, Sorge opted to lower his shoulder and bulldoze the catcher rather than sliding.
The result of this was City High’s dugout emptying like an angry hornet’s nest followed by Sorge’s ejection. West High Head Coach Charlie Stumpff, who had already drawn a warning from the home plate umpire earlier in the contest for complaining about a series of calls, was also ejected after a lengthy conversation with the umpire.
When play resumed, Assistant Coach Jesse Searls replaced Stumpff in the third base coach’s box for the remainder of the inning and for the top of the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, Trojan pitcher Austin West held off the Little Hawks, and upon delivering the final strike for the third and final out of the game, let out a victory yell while pumping his fist.
West went the distance in his first varsity start on the mound and gave up only three hits, no runs, walked two and struck out eight for the win. Lucas Karwal knocked three hits for the Trojans with one apiece for Houston (a double), Calderwood, McAreavy and Barnes (RBI double).
The Trojans improved to 12-4 overall while the Little Hawks dipped to 9-5.
Cedar Rapids Prairie visits West High on Friday, June 15, for a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. and West High visits Iowa City Regina on Saturday, June 16, for a non-conference game at 5 p.m. Cedar Rapids Jefferson visits the Trojans on Monday, June 18, for a 5 p.m. doubleheader before the Trojans visit the Cougars of Cedar Rapids Kennedy on Wednesday, June 20, in a 5 p.m. doubleheader.