Iowa state baseball: ADM's magical postseason run ends with Class 3A quarterfinal loss to Marion
IOWA CITY, Ia. — After a riveting substate run turned a pedestrian regular season into a shocking state berth, ADM hoped to take its magic east to Duane Banks Field.
Marion wasn't having any of that.
With ADM miscues sprinkled around several key Indians hits, this Class 3A giant proved too tough for a Tigers squad riding the postseason wave. Top-seeded Marion plated seven runs in the first three innings en route to an 11-2 victory over eighth-seeded ADM Wednesday in Iowa City. With the win, the Indians (35-6) advance to Friday's Class 3A semifinal against No. 4 seed Central DeWitt (24-15) at 11 a.m.
If ADM (12-18) was going to pull another stunner, it needed a flawless product in all areas. Marion ace Boede Rahe was going to make things difficult at the plate. An Indians offense ranking second statewide in runs scored required pristine ADM pitching and defense.
After a brief opening sputter, Marion broke through with authority in the middle frames. A three-run second was buoyed by an untimely ADM throwing error. Four Marion runs in the third came via RBI knocks from the bottom of the order — seventh-place hitter Jake Trca and eighth-place man Jaqson Tejada. The Indians plated four more in the fourth, capitalizing on three walks, two hit by pitches and a wild pitch.
ADM starter Tate Stine-Smith absorbed the bulk of the damage, surrendering five hits, seven runs (four earned) and four walks over three innings. Reliever Luke Greth retired just one of the six batters he faced, serving up a hit, four runs and three walks.
The Tigers offense, meanwhile, mustered little against Rahe. The Marion right-hander yielded only two hits and one unearned run over four dominant frames. He exited after 62 pitches (making him eligible to throw in Saturday's championship game if Marion gets there). Florida International signee Owen Puk and Iowa commit Myles Davis finished things in relief. Both are eligible to throw in Friday's semifinal.
"We just had to keep the energy up and be confident on the mound and throw strikes," Davis said. "Pound the zone, that’s what coach (Steve) Fish preaches every inning. We have a target on our backs, but we’re so confident with it. We’re going to be all right every time."
Wednesday's outcome, though, doesn't diminish ADM's postseason accomplishments. The program's sixth state appearance seemed unfathomable just two weeks ago, with the Tigers sitting at 9-17 after a July 13 loss to Pella. But ADM responded with an emphatic surge that featured a run-rule of Clarke and substate stunners over Grinnell and Boone — two teams that finished a combined 52-16.
The Tigers will trek back west with plenty of pride.
"It’s been really fun to just sit back and watch these guys go out and play," ADM coach Jason Book said. "You know, I’m really proud of them.”
More state baseball:Class 2A state semifinals set after intense quarterfinals
No. 4 Central DeWitt 11, No. 5 Waverly-Shell Rock 1
Quarterfinal Wednesday opened with another rout, as Central DeWitt advanced with a robust performance.
Already with a 5-1 lead, Central DeWitt (24-15) unloaded for six runs in the fourth to cement run-rules status. Eight different Sabers picked up hits, with left-fielder Kyle Bixby also driving in three runs.
That was more than enough support for starter Boomer Johnson, who surrendered just three hits and one run over five innings. He punched out nine and walked only two.
The Central DeWitt-Marion semifinal is a matchup more than a month in the making. The Sabers and Indians were scheduled to play a doubleheader at Marion on June 25, but rain postponed both games.
Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.