CENTRAL C ITY
Little did they know as they were settling into their seats in Central City Wednesday, June 30, but Midland baseball fans were about to be treated one of the most amazing pitching performances any Iowa high school hurler has ever had.
Quite possibly, one of the greatest in the entire country, too.
“You just never know what you might see at a baseball game,” said Eagle baseball coach Josh Soper, as junior pitcher Jamisen Dodge needed a mere 26 pitches to finish off an impressive 12-0, five-inning no-hit Midland victory against the host Wildcats, a number that is most likely a state of Iowa record for high school pitchers, and could maybe even be a national record.
“We have been preaching that we need to play at a quicker pace on defense. Attack hitters with strike one, and Jamisen was locked in and did just that. He threw eight pitches in the first inning, six in the second, three in the third, four in the fourth and five in the fifth. He only threw two balls and recorded three strikeouts, so we played really well on defense, too.”
Midland (7-12, 6-11) made sure to give Dodge what he needed offensively, which wasn’t going to need to be much, and the Eagles did so immediately as Dodge led off the game with a single, stole second and scored thanks to a Zain Sauer RBI double. After Sauer stole third and them home, Midland had a quick 2-0 lead.
The Eagles added on in the second when Ethan Paulsen, Carson Hunter and Dodge all crossed the plate pushing the advantage to 5-0 before a four-run third blew the game open.
Leading 9-0 in the fifth, Midland ended the game early when a Matt Sauer double scored Dodge and D.J. Soper before Zain Sauer crossed the plate on a wild pitch giving the visitors their 12-0 lead.
Then Dodge went back to work in the bottom of the fifth just continuing to make history, little did he, or anyone, actually know it.
“Central City’s lead-off hitter was hit by the first pitch of the inning, then on the next pitch the Central City batter hit into a 5-4-3 double play,” Soper said. “Jamisen faced 15 batters and just missed a perfect game. D.J. made a nice play at second base on a hard-hit ball and Zain had one grounder at shortstop that he made look routine, other than those two plays, it was pretty soft contact.”
Midland bats were limited to five hits, getting two each from Dodge and Zain Sauer, but the team did work eight walks.
“I can’t recall ever being a part of such a game,” Soper said. “26 pitches in a five-inning game is unheard of. We are really happy for Jamisen and proud of the team.”
The Eagles returned home Thursday, July 1, and dropped a pair of tough contests (21-5 and 13-3) against visiting Lisbon.
“We played a pretty solid team and saw two really good pitchers,” Soper said. “Unfortunately for us, we were not able to line our top pitchers up for this one. Zain had been on the shelf with a shoulder injury which really hurt us. We had a couple awful innings on defense that gave away several runs.
“Credit the opponent though for making things happen and putting pressure on us.”
Midland trailed 13-4 in the opener before Lisbon exploded scoring eight sixth-inning runs to end the game early.
Eagle bats did tally an impressive 10 hits led by 3-for-4 performances from D.J. Soper and Zain Sauer.
Seniors Aaron Bixler, Carson Hunter, Lucas Ervin and Ethan Paulsen all took their turn on the mound for the hosts.
The nightcap fared a little better for the Eagles, who after plating three first inning runs were in a 3-3 tie with the Lions, but the visitors answered scoring the game’s final 10 runs ending with four in the sixth.
Bixler’s two hits led a six-hit Midland offense.
Midland opened their week with a tough 8-0 loss at East Buchanan Monday, June 28, as Buccaneer pitching limited Eagle bats to a mere three hits (Bixler, Warren Etten and Matt Sauer).
“We really came out flat,” Soper said. “We have several kids battling injuries and with such a small roster we have a lot of kids playing out of position. We just did not play well at all.”
Trailing just 1-0 into the third, East Buchanan plated three runs before adding two more in the fourth and sixth innings to pull away.
“D.J. and Warren pitched alright, we just did not make the routine plays to help them out,” Soper said. “Credit East Buchanan, they made a lot of nice plays on defense to take hits away from us. Hopefully we can get healthy this week and be ready for the post-season.”