Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
WELLMAN — Last season was rewarding for the Mid-Prairie baseball team with its first trip to the state tournament since 2007, but the Golden Hawks have some unfinished business after a 13-3 loss in six innings of a Class 2A state baseball quarterfinal at Principal Park in Des Moines.
Maybe a change of scenery will make a difference as the tournament will be in Carroll.
There is unfinished business yet this season as Mid-Prairie must defeat Davis County Tuesday to earn that trip to state.
Davis County started the season 3-7 and have gone 11-11 since. The Mustangs (14-18) defeated EBF 5-4 Saturday to advance to the substate final in Washington. Mid-Prairie, which has a 19-7 record, defeated Williamsburg 5-4.
The Mustangs have three batting averages over .300 in Dawson Townsend (. 333), Clay Collier (. 349) and Dalton Reeves (. 341). Collier has the lone home run. The Mustangs have seven triples and 43 doubles for a team slugging percentage of .347 and batting average of .277.
Mid-Prairie has three players averaging over .400 in Aidan Rath (. 500), Karson Grout (. 429) and Keegan Gingerich (. 400). There are three more over .300 and one at .293 in Collin Miller, who singled in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday. Kayden Reinier bats .378, Vinnie Bowlin .341 and Cain Brown .364. Bowlin has the lone home run other than Rath’s class-leading 12. The Hawks have nine triples and 34 doubles for a team slugging percentage of .474 and batting average of .354.
The Hawks seem to have a clear edge in base running with 131 stolen bases in 144 attempts while the Mustangs are 64-for-69. Davis County has 297 total bases and 170 runs scored in 32 games. Mid-Prairie has 238 runs and 361 total bases in 26 games.
Pitching always makes the difference in the postseason and errors played a huge role Saturday. Mid-Prairie has 43 errors (. 938) on the season, Davis County 65 (. 926).
In 167 innings, the Hawks earned run average is 3.60 and the Mustangs are at 5.76. Mid-Prairie has six pitchers with a total between 22 and 29 innings pitched. Rath has the most at 28.1, the most strikeouts at 59 against 20 walks, and the lowest ERA at 0.99.
Davis County has two pitchers over 32 innings and three between 20 and 23. Townsend has 47 innings with a 4.11 ERA with 31 strikeouts and seven walks. Noah Zmolek has 46 strikeouts against 37 walks with a 4.98 ERA in 32 innings.
Strictly looking at statistics on paper, it would be a 6-3 win for Mid-Prairie.
Baseball games are not played on paper or EBF (26-7) would have been Mid-Prairie’s opponent in Washington Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the substate final.