The Waukee Warriors played their final game of the season on Friday, July 28, against the Johnston Dragons. The Warriors took on the Dragons in the State Semifinals and lost by just one run (5-4).
The game started out slow with only the Dragons’ Drew Beazley getting to base in the first inning.
The second inning was just as slow for the Warriors with none of their batters getting to base. The Dragons, however, picked up the game in the second half of the inning.
The Warriors were able to get the first two Dragons out, but then walked Derek Hackman to start the inning.
Following Hackman, Evan Salmon hit a single as did Cade Moss. Moss’ hit along, with a Warrior error, allowed Hackman’s courtesy runner, Brock Studer, to score the first run of the game.
Another hit by Beazley and Salmon scored the second run for the Dragons.
The Warriors were able to end the inning by catching Peyton Williams’ hit. The Dragons took the lead 2-0.
Neither team was able to score in the third inning, but Bubba Woods was able to get on base for the Warriors when he was walked to base. Unfortunately, he was not able to advance before the Dragons ended the top half of the inning.
The Warriors began the bottom half of the inning by allowing the Dragons two hits. Luckily, they were able to throw out a batter on base and strikeout the following two batters.
The third inning ended with the Dragons still leading 2-0.
The Warriors were able to come back in the fourth inning.
Calvin Smith and Fischer Henderson began the inning by being walked to base. Both Warriors were able to advance a base when the Dragons’ pitched was called on a balk while Jake Morrison was up to bat.
Morrison ended up also being walked to base, loading the bases for the Warriors.
Tyrese Moore finally had a base hit, but Smith ended up being tagged out at home plate keeping the Warriors scoreless.
With the bases still loaded Ross Hingst had another hit, which allowed both Henderson and Morrison to score. Unfortunately, Hingst was thrown out at first, giving the Warriors their second out of the inning.
Both Zach Pierson and Drew Irvine followed the out with singles. Irvine’s hit allowed Moore to run back home for the Warriors’ third run of the game.
Woods followed the play with another base hit, but while running to second, Irvine was tagged out on a fielder’s choice. The Warriors led the game 3-2 by the end of the first half of the fourth inning.
The Warriors didn’t lead long as the Dragons tied up the game in the bottom of the inning.
Hackman immediately started the inning by hitting a double. He quickly made it home when he stole third and Salmon hit a single.
The Warriors caught the Dragons’ next two hits, but allowed Williams to get to base with his hit. They also allowed Williams to advance to second base when Andrew Nord was walked to base.
Jack Dreyer was the next Dragon up to bat. Luckily for the Warriors, his hit was caught in the outfield before the Dragons could score again. The fourth inning ended tied 3-3.
The Warriors looked like they would get the lead again in the fifth inning when Dillon Flynn started off with a base hit. Unfortunately, the Warriors’ next two batters were called out.
Morrison came up next with another single, which also allowed Flynn to get to third base. Moore then followed Morrison with a single to get to base.
Moore was able to get to base safely, but Morrison was tagged out at second base before Flynn could score.
The Dragons began their half of the inning with a double hit by Alex McGregor. McGregor then stole third while Noah Janssen was up to bat.
McGregor wasn’t able to score right away as Janssen ended up being walked to base, but when Hackman hit the ball, McGregor ran back home.
Hackman’s hit was caught in the outfield for the first out of the game, and was followed by the Warriors tagging out Salmon on third. Unfortunately for the Warriors, this didn’t stop the Dragons from scoring again.
Moss had another single that allowed Caleb Kuennen (Janssen’s runner) to score. The inning ended there when Beazley’s hit was caught.
With the Dragons up 5-3, the Warriors tried to come back in the sixth inning.
After Hingst’s hit was caught, Pierson officially began the inning by hitting a triple. Another Warrior hit was caught, but it was followed by a single from Woods.
Woods’ hit got Pierson home for the Warriors’ fourth and final run of the game. Woods was able to get on base, but his hit was followed by a strikeout ending the top of the inning 5-4.
The Warriors stopped the Dragons from getting on base and the game went into the final inning.
The Dragons were able to keep the Warriors from scoring again by only allowing Morrison and Moore on base before ending the game 5-4.
“It was a great high school baseball game,” said coach Dave Dirkx. “They got us early, but I was proud of our guys, they came back, they didn’t quit, we kept battling and battling and I’m proud of our guys for that. I think it’s just two good high school baseball teams and they played a good high school baseball game. They all played hard and they didn’t quit, no one folded and it was intense and it was a fun game to be a part of.
The Warriors ended their season in the semifinals of the State Baseball Tournament with a season record of 29-14.
“It’s been a good year, a really good year,” said Dirkx. “They know how to fight and it’s fun, it’s fun to be around them because they are competitive, it has been a good year.”