By Jon Swisher-Sports Director:
In 2A semifinal play, the top-seeded Cascade Cougars were upset by No. 4 Waterloo Columbus in comeback fashion by the Sailors, 5-3. Tied 3-3, the Columbus Catholic Sailors scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to complete a come-from-behind, 5-3 win over the No. 1 seeded Cascade Cougars in Class 2A semifinal action on Thursday at Principal Park. Cascade jumped on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second on a hit by Kurt Trumm scoring Mitch Recker. The Cougars cruised with a 1-0 lead until the sixth behind junior starter Trace Hoffman who had allowed only one hit through five innings. The Sailors got to Hoffman in the sixth though, scoring three runs on three hits and two errors to claim a 3-1 lead.
The top-ranked Cougars didn’t go away, responding with two in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 3-3. Derek Lieurance was hit by a Henry Walters pitch with the bases loaded, bringing in the first run before Walters threw a wild pitch to tally another. After Hoffman struck out the first batter in the top of the 7th, 3 hits followed scoring two runs. University of Iowa Baseball Recruit Luke Farley, who pitched a complete-game shutuout over Hinton in the quarterfinals, came in to close out the seventh, striking out two after a groundout for the 123 inning as he earned his fifth save. The Cougars usually consistent run-producing offense was stymied by the Sailors pitching staff, earning just 3 hits and leaving 8 runners on base.
Hoffman dropped to 8-1 and gave up his first runs, earned or unearned, of the season in the loss. He went 6 and 2/3rd innings allowing five runs, all of which were earned, on eight hits and four walks while striking out seven. Hoffman was on a 41 and 2/3rds scoreless-inning streak coming into the game. Cascade’s historic season closed with their 20-game winning streak being snapped but they end with the most wins in program history with a 38-4 mark. In their 4th trip to state they won their first ever tournament game. The Cougars say goodbye to 10 seniors.
Waterloo Columbus improved to 32-5 and earned a spot in the Class 2A title game against third-seeded Clear Lake on Saturday at 1:30pm.