GRISWOLD, Iowa — Treynor leads Class 2-A in runs per game (11.8) and batting average (.396).
On Friday, Missouri Valley's Marcus Fouts kept the Cardinals in check for four-plus innings. But their offensive depth eventually took over.
Top-seeded Treynor rallied from a 2-1 fifth-inning deficit, breaking through late for an 8-3 win over sixth-seeded Missouri Valley in the championship game of the Western Iowa Conference tournament at Griswold High School.
“Missouri Valley, they're a good team, there's no denying that,” Treynor coach Bob Mantell said. “Fouts is good, and because we haven't seen him yet this year, we knew the first time through the lineup it might take a little bit. But by the time we got through the second time, we started seeing the ball a little bit better and we were getting quality swings. The third time we were squaring them up pretty good.”
After its softball team's title on Thursday, Treynor's baseball triumph was its third in four years. It also marked the eighth time in the 33-year history of the league tournament that a school swept both crowns. Missouri Valley has done it three times, Treynor joins Tri-Center in doing it twice and Underwood did it once.
“We've worked hard to build the program,” Mantell said. “But we take none of this stuff for granted. We don't overlook any of our opponents. We recognize how blessed we are to be in the position we're in.”
Treynor (16-1) remains third in The World-Herald's latest western Iowa ratings for Class 2-A/1-A schools. Glenwood (4-A/3-A) and Carroll Kuemper (2-A/1-A) lead their respective divisions. The ratings reflect play through Thursday night.
Trailing 2-1, Treynor answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Fouts just missed on an 0-2 pitch to Nolan Mantell, but then walked him. Grant Mantell followed and walked on a close 3-2 pitch, and then Brett Daley sacrificed them to second and third.
With the infield in, Paulsen grounded one slowly to Michael West. He went to first as Nolan Mantell scored the tying run, but his throw was high at first, allowing Paulsen to reach. Two batters later, Ben Chapin drilled a two-run double over the centerfielder's head to make it 4-2.
The Big Reds drew within one in the sixth. Sam Schmitz walked, took second on a groundout and scored on Spencer Hember's RBI single.
Treynor picked up some breathing room in its half. Alec Sorensen was hit by a pitch, stole second, was sacrificed to third and scored on Nolan Mantell's single to make it 5-3. Avery Umphreys added a two-run double later in the inning.
Missouri Valley (9-7), a 13-time WIC tourney champ, started the season 3-5 but had won six of seven entering the game. Coach Rod Unger is seeing progress.
“The kids are playing well,” he said. “I think we got more focused. We got beat in some tight games. … It's jelling, but we've just got to keep going.”
For Treynor, Nick Paulsen worked six solid innings for the win, and got relief help from Ben Chapin. Chapin also made some tremendous catches in center field.
“Ben's a tremendous player,” Bob Mantell said. “He does that all the time. Anything that's in the gap, unless it's on a line, we think he's going to go get.”
Missouri Valley (9-7) ........................... 000 111 0—3 6 3
Treynor (16-1) ........................... 100 034 x—8 6 1
W: Nick Paulsen. L: Marcus Fouts. 2B: MV, Sam Schmitz. T, Ben Chapin, Avery Umphreys.
Underwood 12, AHST 1, 5 inn.
Second-seeded Underwood wasted no time in its consolation victory at the Western Iowa Conference tournament.
The Eagles scored all of their runs in the first three frames. Caleb Wichman finished 3 for 3 with an RBI, Brady Johnson was 2 for 3 with three RBIs, Taylor Curtis was 2 for 3 and Austin Konsor smacked a three-run homer.
AHST (5-9) ........................... 000 10—1 3 2
Underwood (14-7) ........................... 345 0x—12 10 0
W: Sam Warden. L: Kyle Bauerkemper. 2B: U, Brady Johnson 2, Taylor Curtis. HR: U, Austin Konsor (2).
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