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Waukee gets upset by Johnston in first round of state tournament

Clint Cole - DCN: Matt Mullenbach allowed four hits and three runs in Waukee's first round loss at the state tournament on Wednesday.
Clint Cole - DCN: Matt Mullenbach allowed four hits and three runs in Waukee's first round loss at the state tournament on Wednesday.

The third trip to the state tournament in school history didn’t go as planned for the Waukee baseball team as they were upset by the No. 8 seeded and defending state champions, Johnston, in the first round at Principal Park on Wednesday. The Dragons defeated the Warriors 8-3 behind a six-run third inning after falling in a 2-0 hole.

This was just the second time since the state tournament moved to Principal Park that the No. 8 seed defeated the No. 1 seed, according to iowa-baseball.com. The loss was Waukee’s fifth of the season and finish with a record of 35-5.

In 39 games this season going into the state tournament, the Warriors only had 27 errors all season long, and they had two in the sixth inning, including one by second baseman Addison Meyers which could have been a double play and ended the inning with minimal damage on the scoreboard.

Waukee coach Dave Dirkx, said that it’s possible that Johnston’s experience at the state tournament caught up to the Warriors, especially in the sixth inning.

“Them coming back after winning the whole thing last year, there’s a little bit of swagger in that and a little bit of confidence that really showed, I thought, today,” Dirkx said. “When things didn’t go well, they didn’t lose any momentum, they didn’t falter, they just kept at it.”

The Warriors jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Nick Moffitt scored off of an RBI by Matt Corbett, who went 2-for-3 in the game. They extended their lead to 2-0 in the second when an RBI double by Luke Fegen scored Robert Primrose.

Down 8-2 going into the bottom of the seventh, the Warriors were able to get one more run, courtesy of Moffitt, who was batted in by Matt Hoeg, who hit the ball all the way to the left field wall.

The Warriors have seen their season come to an end, but the Dragons will advance to the semifinals on Friday to continue their battle for a second-straight state title.

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