Stover powers CMB to upset of No. 9 Norsemen

Story and photos by Joe RandlemanStaff Writer
Stover powers CMB to upset of No. 9 Norsemen

STORY CITY - The arm of Brady Stover and clutch hitting at the bottom of the order enabled the Collins-Maxwell-Baxter baseball team to knock off No. 9 Roland-Story, 3-0, in nine innings to claim a Class 2A district title Saturday in Story City.

Stover was absolutely masterful, striking out 19 batters for the second game in a row and limiting Roland-Story to just one hit over the full nine innings, giving CMB the biggest win in program history.

“This is something I’ve never expected - this is huge,” Stover said. “We’ve been playing together since we were young and this is our last season together - juniors, seniors and sophomores. I can’t believe we made it this far. Wow - this is amazing!”

Through the seven innings in regulation CMB held the upper hand, thanks to Stover’s dominance. But the Raiders were unable to capitalize on their one golden scoring opportunity — a squeeze bunt with runners on the corners and one out in the top of the fourth — to keep the game scoreless.

In the top of the eighth inning, CMB was retired in order by Roland-Story relief pitcher Zach Shadlow and then Roland-Story mounted its biggest threat of the game.

After Stover struck out the first two Norsemen batters in the bottom of the eighth, he walked Landon Greiner and had an errant pickoff throw to first, allowing courtesy runner Derek Staker to move all the way over to third. Stover then issued a free pass to Jakob Pitman, and after a stolen base, Roland-Story had runners at second and third.

Stover decided he’d had enough when Roland-Story’s John Barclay walked to the plate. He mowed down Barclay on strikes and then pumped his fist in excitement after getting the key final out to keep the game scoreless.

In the top of the ninth, the Raider bats emerged from a long slumber.

After picking up just three hits over the first eight innings, the Raiders pounded Shadlow for four base knocks in the ninth. That resulted in three runs - all coming with two outs.

“We’re usually known for starting a little slow and getting on the pitchers late, so I was kind of expecting that coming into tonight,” Stover said. “(But) I knew in one inning we’d get the bat on the ball. That happened to be the last inning, so thank God!”

Brad Ritter and Creighton Caple both reached on an infield hit to start the top of the ninth for CMB. Shadlow then retired the next two Raider batters to leave runners on first and second with two outs.

But just as it seemed CMB was about to run out of its momentum at the plate, catcher Travis Lindemoen — the No. 8 hitter in the batting order — came up with the hit of the game. Lindemoen laced a single to center field, scoring Ritter with the eventual winning run.

“It felt amazing,” Lindemoen said. “I thought we were done right there. I was ready to have Brady Stover go pitch me nine more balls and get out of here.”

But CMB wasn’t quite done on offense.

Spencer Gauch followed up Lindemoen with a single to left. Gauch’s hit scored both Caple and Lindemoen.

That gave Stover a cushion that was about equal to 10 runs for a normal pitcher going into the bottom of the ninth. The Raider hurler had thrown 124 pitches in the first eight innings — but he wasn’t about to let fatigue get him down with the game on the line.

Stover finished with 138 pitches. He forced Roland-Story’s Jake Ford to ground back to him on the mound, then retired the final two Norsemen batters on strikes to send his team into a big celebration with him on the mound.

“I’d do anything for this team — throw as many pitches — I don’t care,” Stover said. “Now it’s time to ice my arm and get it taken care of (for) next game.”

Raider head coach Max Seeman said he is very grateful to have a weapon like Stover to go against a quality Roland-Story team.

“I think we can beat just about anybody in our class in the state with him on the mound,” Seeman said. “I’d like a little more from our bats, but we don’t have to score a lot of runs with Brady on the mound.”

The Raider coach may want a little more offensive production out of his team, but he’ll take having the players come through at the right time to get the job done.

“That’s what won us the game there at the end,” Seeman said. “It’s just great for these guys to experience this kind of success. They go to the field and work their tails off everyday. Especially with all this CMB (consolidation issue) stuff that’s been going around - I think it’s really great for the communities and for these guys to stick together like we are and make a run.”

Tucker Maxwell was 2-for-4 with a double, Stover doubled once and Lindemoen, Gauch, Ritter and Caple each had a single for CMB on offense. Ritter and Nate Bishop each drew one walk on offense for the Raiders, who improved to 13-11 with the victory.

Roland-Story ended the season at 29-11.

Shadlow gave up three earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk in five innings to take the loss. Tyler Hovick got the start for Roland-Story and he allowed no runs on two hits with three strikeouts and one walk in four innings.

Colby Gray singled in the second inning for Roland-Story’s only hit off Stover.

CMB 3, Roland-Story 0

CMB 000 000 003 - 3 7 1

RS 000 000 000 - 0 1 2

CMB: Brady Stover and Travis Lindemoen.

RS: Tyler Hovick, Zach Shadlow (5) and Landon Greiner.

WP: Stover.

LP: Shadlow.

2B: CMB - Stover, Tucker Maxwell.

STORY CITY - Great pitching, mixed with a couple solid innings on offense, gave Collins-Maxwell-Baxter a 3-0 victory over Des Moines Christian in the 2A district semifinals July 12 at Story City.

Brady Stover fired a one-hitter with an incredible 19 strikeouts against just one walk to lead CMB to the victory. The Raider offense backed him up with seven hits, scoring one run in the third inning and two in the fifth.

Brady Ross was 2-for-4 with two runs and Brad Ritter went 2-for-4 with a double, run and RBI to pace CMB at the plate. Stover also had a 2-for-4 outing on offense and Creighton Caple chipped in a single for the Raiders.

Brady Kemp, Nate Bishop and Tucker Maxwell each drew one walk for the Raiders on offense.

CMB 3, Des Moines Christian 0

CMB 001 020 0 - 3 7 NA

DMC 000 000 0 - 0 1 NA

CMB: Brady Stover and Travis Lindemoen.

WP: Stover.

2B: CMB - Brad Ritter.