IOWA CITY– The West High Trojans came back from a 2-0 deficit to win 4-2 over the Rams of Dubuque Senior Wednesday night at home in a nine-inning Class 4A substate final.
It was a pitchers’ duel through four innings as West’s Kellen Yoder and Seniors’ Alex Steines shut-out the other’s batters. The Trojans threatened in the top of the fourth as Reid Bonner made it to third, but ended up stranded along with Declan Doyle (at second).
In the fifth, Nick Grimsman took over for Yoder on the mound and inherited a runner at first. An RBI single coupled with an error put the Rams on the board. The Rams scored again in the bottom of the sixth as a series of miscues plagued the Trojans and coach Charlie Stumpff expressed his frustration with the home plate umpire. The Rams loaded the bases but a Grimsman strike out ended the inning and averted further damage.
West loaded the bases in the seventh as Luke Crimmins walked, Grimsman was hit by a pitch and Ezra Reiners walked. With one out, Ryan Siems nailed a two-RBI double to right field. It was almost a three-run effort but for Reiners getting caught in a run-down between third and home. The Trojans loaded the bases again, but the Rams changed pitchers and the new man on the mound struck-out Devin Raffensperger to end the inning tied 2-2. West loaded the bases again in the eighth, but Reiners hit into a double-play with one out leaving all three stranded. Crimmins, who relieved Grimsman in the seventh, struck-out two of three Rams batters in the bottom of the inning.
Siems led-off for West in the ninth with a single to right center field and came home on an RBI triple by Bonner. Doyle brought Bonner home on an RBI single with no outs for the 4-2 lead which Crimmins was able to maintain with a three-up, three-down effort.
Siems led at the plate with two hits, two RBIs and two runs; Bonner had one hit (a triple), one run and an RBI; Doyle had one hit and one RBI. Raffensperger and Crimmins both had a single.
Yoder worked four innings throwing 56 pitches, giving up one earned run while striking-out three and walking two. Grimsman had two innings with 39 pitches. He gave up one earned run, struck-out one, walked one and gave up two hits. Crimmins threw 47 pitches in three innings of work striking-out three and giving up one hit.
The victory sends Charlie Stumpff and company back to Des Moines for another attempt at a state title. West was the runner-up squad in ’09 and ’10, and went home early last year in the wake of a semifinal loss to West Des Moines Dowling. The Trojans take the diamond at noon on Wednesday, July 25, against West Des Moines Valley at Principal Park Stadium. West takes a 34-8 record and the No. 4 seed into battle against the 33-9 and No. 4 seed Tigers.