Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
WELLMAN — Collin Miller had been there before. It was in Mediapolis last season and he threw a strike for the final out and ended up there.
There was on the bottom of a pile of Golden Hawks, who celebrated his game-winning single by chasing him down the first-base line to congratulate, hug, high-five, then bury him in celebration of the 5-4 win over Williamsburg in the Class 2A District 11 championship game Saturday.
“I was expecting fastball, got a curveball, adjusted and got it,” Miller said. “(The dog pile) I am pretty familiar to it because they did it last year at substate when I was on the mound and I threw the last strike.”
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Mid-Prairie trailed 3-0 with one out and the bases loaded when Keegan Gingerich hit a single past Williamsburg’s diving shortstop. The ball skittered past the charging left fielder and all three runners came home to tie the game.
“It’s high school baseball, there are going to be errors,” Mid-Prairie coach Kyle Mullett said. “Everyone is going to make them, it’s just a matter of who can have the least.”
The Raiders got a triple from their starting pitcher with one out in the sixth inning and he scored on a double for a 4-3 Williamsburg advantage, which held up through the bottom of the sixth inning.
But the second, third and fourth batters in the Golden Hawks order were due up in the bottom of the seventh. Karson Grout doubled and Aidan Rath singled in Grout with the tying run.
Rath had been intentionally walked earlier and used that as motivation in the seventh inning. “I was just waiting for a fastball and it came so I was right on top of it. It was my pitch. I wanted it.”
The fourth batter in the Mid-Prairie batting order and third of the inning, Gingerich, singled. Vinny Bowlin laid down a bunt that sneaked its way to the infield dirt for a hit and the bases were loaded.
“I think hitting is contagious. When one guys gets going, the rest just kind of follow,” Mullett said. “Big time players that have the talent, they show up to the show and produce. It says a lot about their character and their mindset in the box.”
Miller singled through the right side of the field to bring Rath home.
“It feels great just to win it,” Rath said. “It doesn’t matter how it happens.”
Miller gunned a throw home from left field to keep a run from scoring in the fifth inning and pitched the final two innings for the win.
“These guys, it’s just unbelievable how they battle and stay with it,” Mullett said. “They play every inning like its 0-0.”We got the job done.
Mid-Prairie ups its record to 19-7 and plays Davis County Tuesday in Washington for the berth as one of the final eight teams in the 2A tournament in Carroll. Davis County’s record is 14-18 after a 5-4 defeat of Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Saturday. Williamsburg ends the year 18-15.