DES MOINES —
Twin Cedars missed a chance to take the lead in the eighth when Drew Carlson left two runners in scoring position on his third strikeout of the night. After Clark reached on a walk to open the ninth and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, a slow grounder hit to third by Levi Jones was thrown over the head of MSM first baseman Tanner Foster, allowing Clark to score his second tiebreaking run of the night.
That run seemed to finally break things open for the Sabers. Moore added his second RBI hit of the night to double the lead and a bases-loaded infield RBI single by Brent Parker added an insurance run off Blue Devil relief pitcher Trent Verwers, making it 4-1 Twin Cedars heading to the bottom of the ninth.
“One-run leads are nice, but two or three-run leads always leave you with a better feeling,” Clark said. “We always try to go for those extra two or three runs whenever we can.”
The three-run cushion proved to be enough. MSM made one last push with a walk and a hit to bring the tying run up with one out. Foster popped out to second and Gibson hit a fly out that Jones corralled to clinch a history-making win for No. 2 Twin Cedars (36-2).
The end result is a new champion must be crowned in Class 1A, leaving six teams to decided that issue. The Sabers and top-ranked Mason City Newman (27-6), an 11-6 winner over Woodbury Central in the opening game of the state baseball tournament, will decide which one will be left to challenge the other four next Saturday afternoon in the state title game.
“The focus now is just on the next game, but I guess everyone now is salivating a little more knowing they have a chance to win it all,” Miller said. “This means a lot for the Twin Cedars program because this was the first Twin Cedars team to win at state. It means a lot for all those alumni that put on the Twin Cedars uniform. We feel like they are just a big a part of this team’s success.”