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Top stars, best performances in Iowa high school baseball (July 10-16)

Some of the top performances from Iowa prep baseball last week
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By Barry Poe 

Here are some stars from last week’s high school baseball games across Iowa.

If you know of a top performance we should include, please e-mail

Sam Kemmer, Johnston

The sophomore drove in six runs, finishing 3-for-3 with two singles and a double, as the Dragons beat West Des Moines Valley 12-4 in a Class 4A substate final. Defending state champion Johnston is the No. 1 seed in Class 4A.

Talon Young, Iowa City High

The sophomore went the distance to pick up the mound victory for the Little Hawks, 5-1 over Pleasant Valley, in a 4A substate final. Young allowed only a third-inning run as City High made a return trip to the state tournament.

Jack Casey, Southeast Polk

The senior outfielder had a single, double, RBI and four runs scored in the Rams’ 16-1 victory over Urbandale in a 4A substate final. Southeast Polk had 10 hits off eight different Urbandale pitchers in earning a state tournament berth.

Kaden Marso, West Des Moines Dowling

The senior struck out 10 in a complete-game three-hit shutout for the Maroons in an 8-0 4A substate final win over Ankeny. Beau Gamble had two doubles and four RBIs for Dowling, which is seeded fourth in the 4A state bracket.

Eli Rupp, Dallas Center-Grimes

The junior drove in half of his team’s runs in an 8-4 victory over Waukee Northwest in a Class 4A substate final. Rupp was 2-for-4 with a single and double for the Mustangs, who play West Des Moines Dowling in the state tournament.

Shae Buskohl, Cedar Falls

The senior righthander allowed two hits and struck out 12 as Cedar Falls blanked Cedar Rapids Kennedy 2-0 in a 4A substate final. Buskohl retired the final 12 batters he faced and the Tigers reached state for the second time in four years.

Austin Gabrielson, Ames

Gabrielson had two doubles and knocked in two runs as the Little Cyclones shocked No. 1-ranked Ankeny Centennial 5-1 to earn their first state tournament berth in 28 years. Ames trailed 1-0 heading into the sixth, but Gabrielson’s double started a three-run uprising in the sixth and he added a two-run double in the seventh.

Jackson Khamphilanouvong, Iowa City Liberty

The junior laced a pinch-hit two-run double to tie the score and the Lightning went on to upend No. 2 Cedar Rapids Prairie 6-2 in a 4A substate final. Liberty, which plays defending champ Johnston, returns to the state tournament for the second consecutive season.

Isaac Then, Western Dubuque

The senior struck out 11 and gave up just three hits and the Bobcats earned the right to defend their Class 3A state title with a 4-3 substate final win over Mount Vernon. Hunter Quagliano led the way offensively for Western Dubuque with two doubles and two RBIs.

Reece Wrage, North Polk

The junior had 12 strikeouts in a complete-game two-hitter as the Comets beat Gilbert 7-1 in a 3A substate final. Wrage walked four and threw 105 pitches to grind out the win.

Kaden Frommelt, Marion

A catcher by trade, Frommelt was on the mound in a Class 3A substate final against Cedar Rapids Xavier. He pitched a complete game, limiting Xavier to six hits while improving his record to 5-0 as the 2021 3A champions returned to the state tournament.

Will Specht, Dubuque Wahlert

The sophomore contributed two hits and three RBIs and the Golden Eagles held off Central DeWitt, 7-4, in a 3A substate final. Wahlert avenged a loss to Central DeWitt in last year’s substate final, advancing to the state tournament in Iowa City.

Miles Mudd, Ballard

Mudd scored three runs and drove in two, helping the Bombers upset No. 7 Knoxville in a 3A substate final, 9-2. Ballard, which meets Dubuque Wahlert in the first round, made state for the first time since 1989.

Joe Goodhue, Carlisle

The senior threw six scoreless innings, striking out 10 while allowing three hits in a 5-1 Class 3A substate final victory over Boone. Goodhue issued three walks and the Wildcats earned a spot in the state tournament opposite Marion.

Campbell Wessels, Spencer

The senior outfielder broke a 4-4 tie with a run-scoring hit in the top of the eighth inning, providing the winning run in a 6-4 3A substate final win over Sergeant Bluff-Luton. Spencer earned its first state berth since 1999, when it finished as runners-up.

Stephen Leinen, Harlan

Leinen was the winning pitcher and drove in a key run as the Cyclones upended third-ranked Council Bluffs Lewis Central, 9-6, in a 3A substate final. Harlan returns to the state tournament after a five-year hiatus, but is in the state meet for the 19th time to face top-seeded and defending champ Western Dubuque.

Nate Offerman, Dyersville Beckman

Offerman notched the pitching victory with a complete-game effort in the third-ranked Blazers’ 8-2 Class 2A substate final win over Anamosa. He spaced seven hits and struck out four with just one walk, improving his record to 9-0. Beckman is the No. 1 seed in the state tournament field.

Garrett Luett, Underwood

The freshman pitched a complete game, allowing five hits and one earned run while striking out 10 in a 2A substate final win over Clarinda. Mason Boothby had three hits and drove in two for the Eagles, who made state for the second time in five seasons.

Mason Otting, Cascade

The senior shortstop was 3-for-3 with a double and RBI, leading the Cougars to a 5-1 victory over MFL MarMac in a 2A substate final. Cade Rausch went the distance on the mound for state-bound Cascade, which plays Woodward-Granger in the first round.

Korey McKenney, West Lyon

The senior pitched a complete-game shutout with nine strikeouts in a 2-0 Class 2A substate final win over Forest City. The 24-2 Wildcats carry a 13-game winning streak into a first-round state tournament contest against Van Buren County.

Izaak Loeffler, Van Buren County

The sophomore catcher singled home two runs in the top of the seventh inning, giving the Warriors the lead and eventually a 6-4 win over second-ranked Mid-Prairie in a Class 2A substate final. Van Buren County is making its fourth trip to state.

Sam Sejnoha, Woodward-Granger

The junior centerfielder was 3-for-4 with a double and triple as the Hawks upended Carroll Kuemper 3-2 in a 2A substate final. Woodward-Granger rallied with a one run in the fifth and two in the sixth to deny Kuemper a return trip to state.

Trey O’Neil, Williamsburg

O’Neil held West Marshall to one hit in a 1-0, eight-inning victory in a Class 2A substate. O’Neil had 12 strikeouts and three walks, while Williamsburg won on a suicide squeeze bunt by Rayce Heitman, earning its first state berth since 2013.

Corbin Westerkamp, Pella Christian

The senior contributed mightily to the end of a dynasty, pitching 7.2 innings of no-hit baseball and collecting three hits in a 2-1 2A substate final win over Van Meter in 10 innings. Westerkamp had 11 strikeouts and two walks before being replaced after throwing 110 pitches. Van Meter had won the last three 2A state championships.

Evan Neumann, Kingsley-Pierson

The senior pitched six shutout innings, helping the Panthers beat Newell-Fonda, 2-0, in a Class 1A substate final. Kingsley-Pierson is the No. 1 seed in the 1A state tournament bracket and is making its third trip since 2020.

Cael Ortmann, Remsen St. Mary’s

The senior was 2-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs and three runs scored in the Hawks’ 10-3 win over Woodbury Central in a 1A substate final. St. Mary’s is making its eighth straight trip to the state tournament, which ties Harlan for the second-longest streak of consecutive appearances in state history. Only Mason City Newman’s 13 straight from 2008 to 2020 is longer.

Connor Maston, Lynnville-Sully

Maston struck out 12 and allowed just three hits as the Hawks topped Lenox 4-2 in a 1A substate final. Lynnville-Sully will play in the state tournament for the first time since 2001.

Caden Schwenker, Burlington Notre Dame

The junior shortstop contributed three hits to the Nikes’ winning cause in a 4-3 victory over Hillcrest Academy in a Class 1A substate final. Notre Dame, the fourth seed, faces Lisbon in the opening round of state.

Hunter Clark, Lisbon

The senior pitched a two-hit, complete-game shutout in the Lions’ 7-0 win over Garwin GMG in a 1A substate final. Lisbon is making its third straight trip to state and 10th overall, but is still looking for its first state tourney win.

David Begnoche, Le Mars Gehlen Catholic

The Jays became the third team from Plymouth County to make the 1A state field with a come-from-behind 9-6 win over West Harrison in a substate final. Begnoche was the winning pitcher with five innings of relief and drove in two runs. Gehlen joins Remsen St. Mary’s and Kingsley-Pierson as Plymouth County state qualifiers.

Carsen Sparrow, Saint Ansgar

The junior laid down a suicide squeeze bunt with two strikes, which resulted in two runs scored and Saint Ansgar went on to oust top-ranked Mason City Newman, 2-1, in a 1A substate final. Saint Ansgar’s Jayce Schweisow got out of a bases-loaded jam to end the contest.

Jamie Kuennen, South Winneshiek

The senior limited North Linn to one hit as the Warriors rolled to a 10-0 victory in a 1A substate final. Parker Timp and Cole Hageman drove in three runs each for South Winneshiek made the state tournament for the fourth time in the last five seasons.