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Advertisement Lions defeat City High for State berth
by Brandon Leonard, Correspondent · July 27th, 2017

There was no doubt in anyone's mind that the Linn-Mar baseball team is loaded with talent up and down the roster. Playing in the tough Mississippi Valley Conference in addition to a rigorous non-conference schedule, the Lions entered postseason play with a .500 record, but the beauty of baseball is that if your team gets hot at the right time, watch out. That's the case right now for the Lions as they took down City High to advance to the Class 4A Iowa High School State Baseball Tournament at Principal Park in Des Moines. Linn-Mar's offense erupted for five runs in the fifth inning and won by a 6-2 margin over the Little Hawks.

Offensively, Reese Phillips led the way, going 2-for-3 with an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Kirby Kerr crossed the plate twice and went 3-for-4 at the dish with a pair of doubles.

On the mound, senior ace Josh Strauss pitched five innings and gave up just three hits and one run. Joshua Hilsenbeck came in and closed out the game to send the Lions to Des Moines.

The win over City High pushed Linn-Mar's record to 21-18 on the season and gives them the eighth seed in the tournament. That puts them against top-seeded Johnston, who owns a record of 38-3 on the season. The Dragons are led by a two-headed monster pitching attack as seniors Jack Dreyer and Nathan Buckallew both own records of 8-0 while sophomore Peyton Williams has the big bat for Johnston with a batting average of .378 to go along with seven homers and 42 RBIs.

The Lions and Dragons squared off on Wednesday, July 26, at 1:30 p.m. Results were unknown at press time.

*Update: The Lions fell to Johnston 7-1. Coverage of the game to be published in the August 3, Marion Times.
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