Baseball: Top-ranked Van Meter knocks Greene County from postseason

Staff Report

The two-time defending champions certainly looked the part Wednesday night.
After a rain delay pushed the Class 2A, District 4 semifinal battle back a day, Van Meter (34-0) proceeded to blank Greene County, 7-0, ending their season.
The Rams were held to a single hit and struck out 12 times against Gannon Archer in Van Meter.  
Van Meter boasts the third-lowest team ERA in the state (2.22), stifling the Rams (8-14) for much of the evening.

The Bulldogs have also struck out the most batters in Class 2A with 283, adding several more Wednesday to their already impressive total. The 2020 and 2021 Class 2A state champions captured their 48th straight win, maintaining their perfect 34-0 record this summer. They advanced to take on Woodward-Granger in the District 4 final.

Van Meter, averaging more than 11 runs per game entering the postseason battle, got on the board early with a single run in the first inning. They added two more in the third, then put the game away with four runs in the fourth frame.
As a team, the Bulldogs produced 10 hits, highlighted by arching collecting three hits including a double and two RBI.
Greene County’s stats from the loss were not available at press time.

The Rams were coming off a 7-0 win of their own July 2, a triumphant playoff victory over Panorama. Greene County ends the year with a 8-15 record, finishing sixth in the Heart of Iowa Conference at 3-8.
Roland-Story won the outright HOIC title at 13-1, edging runner-up West Marshall (12-2). Saydel and PCM were well behind in third with matching 8-6 records.
Greene County senior Bryce Stalder was one of the state’s best hitters this year, leading the conference with a .484 batting average thanks to a team-best 30 hits. The average entering Wednesday’s contest was the 10th-best mark in Class 2A. Stalder’s .710 slugging percentage was second-best in the league while his .556 on-base percentage was tops in the conference.

Justin Stream led the Rams with 13 total RBI thanks to a respectable .339 average. Junior Brayden Roberts batted .362, which was the 11th-best mark in the league. As a team, the Rams batted .284, good for fifth-best in the HOIC.
Stalder also was a beast on the mound, striking out a team-best 57 batters in 39.2 innings of work, the seventh-best mark in the conference. He maintained a 3.18 ERA to go with a 1.39 WHIP.
Joe Carey struck out 31 batters in 31 innings, boasting a team-low 2.71 ERA, good for 16th in the HOIC. His .169 batting average against, which was eighth lowest in the league.

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