No. 6 Lisbon (33-7) vs. No. 8 Preston (30-6)
When: 7 p.m.
Scouting Report: These Big East Conference clubs met in the regular season, splitting a double-header. The likely pitching matchup tonight will be Marshall Morgan for Lisbon and Colton Bormann for Preston. They locked up in the regular season, with Preston winning in 10 innings, 1-0. Morgan has thrown 95 2/3 innings this season, second in the state by one-third inning to Wapello’s Greg Carpenter. He has a 14-1 record and 1.68 ERA, striking out 120 batters. Offensively, Lisbon’s Jordan Bahl is hitting .434 with 46 RBIs and 27 stolen bases. Freshman Keegan Tritle is hitting .407 with nine home runs. Bormann has a 7-1 record and 1.33 ERA and leads Preston offensively with a .532 batting average and 45 RBIs. Lisbon seeks its fifth state tourney appearance, its first since 2007. Preston is looking for its third in a row.
North Tama (20-11) vs. No. 7 BGM (26-3)
When: 7 p.m.
Scouting Report: And they’re off … That describes BGM’s staggeringly aggressive offensive approach. According to QuikStats, the Bears have stolen 329 bases in their 29 games, an average of 11 per game. Runners only have been caught 13 times. BGM hits .388 as a team, led by Kyle Gritsch’s .490 average and Blake Jack’s .448. They have 77 steals between them. Nate Beck actually leads the team with 57. Gritsch likely will pitch tonight. He is 9-1 with a 0.74 ERA, including an eight-inning 1-0 shutout of Pleasantville in Saturday’s district finals. North Tama has won 11 of its last 13, including a 4-3 win over Gladbrook-Reinbeck in the district finals. NT scored a run in the top of the seventh for the win. Brian Seda leads the team offensively with a .403 batting average. Whoever pitches tonight (likely Jacob Wrage or Dalton Hulme) will have to keep a very close eye on any potential baserunners. North Tama is seeking its fifth state tourney trip, its first since 2003. BGM has never qualified.
Coon Rapids-Bayard (26-9) vs. Earlham (20-10) at Adel
Council Bluffs St. Albert (21-6) at Treynor (29-4)
Lawton-Bronson (30-3) at Remsen St. Mary’s (25-8)
Martensdale-St. Mary’s (36-5) vs. Twin Cedars (25-9) at Indianola
Mason City Newman (32-4) vs. Lansing Kee (24-16) at New Hampton
Storm Lake St. Mary’s (19-8) at Algona Garrigan (35-8)
Mount Vernon (16-21) vs. West Branch (19-15)
When: 7 p.m.
Scouting Report:Poor bracketing by the IHSAA or just two clubs who have gotten hot at the right time? Who cares? The botton line is one of these teams will play this weekend at the state tournament in Des Moines. Mount Vernon was an also-ran in the predominantly 3A Wamac Conference but has won five of its last six games, including a 3-2, eight-inning job over Monticello in a district final last Saturday. Sophomore Trey Ryan leads the team with a .425 batting average. It’ll be interesting to see who gets the pitching start, likely either Cal Kragenbrink (4-1, 1.85 ERA) or C.J. Eldred (3-3, 2.42). Eldred and his brother Luke (an eighth-grader) are sons of former big league pitcher Cal Eldred. West Branch got a one-hitter from pitcher Cody Brandt to tip Wilton, 2-1, in last Saturday’s district final. Brandt is 6-4 with a sub-2.00 ERA. Bo Bower has a .424 average, 10 home runs and 45 RBIs for the Bears, who seek their second state tournament appearance. They finished second in 2000. Mount Vernon has been to state three times, the last in 1999.
North Fayette (23-19) vs. No. 2 Dyersville Beckman (34-7)
When: 7 p.m.
Scouting Report:David, meet Goliath. Beckman has won 23 of 24 games heading into this one. The Blazers have it all: offense, pitching, speed, power. Leadoff hitter Robbie Anstoetter has a .431 batting average with 29 stolen bases. Nate Steger is hitting .471 with six home runs and 66 RBIs, which is second in the state. Ian Ross hits .483 with a state-leading 12 triples. Adam Noethe, Joey Lehmann and Rob Hermsen are a combined 21-1 on the mound with ERAs of 1.85 or lower. But all North Fayette has to do is win one game, not four. The Hawks have all-state outfielder Jake Greco, the state’s career hits leader. He has a .457 batting average with 10 homers, 47 RBIs and 36 stolen bases. Tom Heying is the probably starting pitcher tonight. He’s 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA. A traditional power, like Beckman, North Fayette scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning and hung on for a 9-8 win over South Winneshiek in the district finals.
Clarinda (13-18) vs. Carroll Kuemper (25-11) at Harlan
Clarion-Goldfield (15-15) vs. Forest City (20-8) at Mason City
Davis County (40-1) vs. Wapello (20-12) at Mount Pleasant
Hudson (24-5) vs. North Polk (28-4) at Conrad
Prairie City-Monroe (23-10) vs. Ogden (23-10) at West Des Moines Dowling
Western Christian (15-14) vs. Alta-Aurelia (22-10) at Spencer