DES MOINES — Van Buren freshman Tyson Sprouse was understandably neverous moments before taking the stage at the state baseball tournament.
Perhaps that’s putting it mildly.
“I was about ready to puke before the game,” Sprouse said. "I was just ready to get out there and pitch."
How his stomach wasn’t churning in the moments after the Warriors first state baseball game is anybody’s guess. Sprouse was not only the first ever Van Buren pitcher to start a state tournament game, he became a big part of Van Buren baseball history as a part of several major moments in what proved to be one of the more memorable games in either Van Buren or state baseball tournament history Saturday night.
From allowing two runs in the opening inning to fourth-ranked Don Bosco to open the final Class 1A State Baseball Quarterfinal to drawing a bases-loaded RBI walk to even the score in the bottom of the frame. From being pulled after a dropped fly ball in deep right brought in the last of three tiebreaking runs in the sixth inning to put the Dons back on top to hitting a sharp grounder to second base that would have proven to be the final out of Van Buren’s season had it been handled properly.
Instead, a bobble by Don Bosco second baseman Dylon Rhoads and hastly-made recovery throw that pulled first baseman Alex Bagby off of the base, giving Sprouse a chance to keep his team alive. A head first slide avoided a tag by Bagby, and started a chain of events that ended several minutes later with Robert Barker being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in the winning run and complete an unbelievable comeback for Van Buren in their state tournament debut.