Cyclones’ title quest falls one game short
DES MOINES (July 29) -- Sometimes the only thing left to do is simply tip your hat.
Playing in its third consecutive state championship game on Saturday, the Harlan Community baseball team ran into a future Iowa Hawkeye pitcher and a deep lineup loaded with seven college signees.
Davenport Assumption, as advertised, was the real deal.
The top-seeded and 2nd-ranked Knights (41-5) chipped away by scoring in every inning and used a 13-strikeout performance from senior pitcher Trenton Wallace to beat the top-ranked and second-seeded Cyclones 10-1 in the Class 3-A title game at Principal Park, denying Harlan’s quest for back-to-back championships.
Assumption’s dominant run to a state-leading 10th crown saw the Knights outscore six postseason opponents 62-6, including 28-4 in Des Moines. Assumption improved its incredible state tournament record to 34-5 all-time.
HCHS, meanwhile, added a fourth state-runner-up trophy to its collection of three state titles - all in the last 22 years - and finished 36-3 in reaching state for the seventh straight season. The 36 wins smashed the old school record of 32 set in 1996.
As if often the case, the Cyclones played error-free baseball Saturday but didn’t have the firepower or catch the necessary breaks to hang with an opponent loaded for bear.
“I’m not disappointed in how we played. The effort was there,” said HCHS head coach Steve Daeges. “I knew we were going to have to play almost a perfect game to beat these guys today.
“I was proud of the way we battled.”
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