Spring League Week 2 Preview

Leagues : : Story
Steve James        
Published: Friday, March 24, 2017

Week 2 of the Iowa Spring League is bringing us rain, wind, and temps in the mid 40's for Saturday.  With that in mind we'll be adjusting the schedule for the weekend.  There will be no games Saturday and an adjusted schedule Sunday.  Jefferson's field this time of year doesn't take water very well, so I'm anticipating it won't be available at all this weekend.  With that in mind we have secured Independence HS for Sunday which has a turf infield.  The hope is that Norway will be playable after the rains tonight and tomorrow for Sunday.  If that's the case, the originally scheduled games at Norway will be played at Norway, and the originally scheduled games at Jefferson will be at Independence.  If Norway becomes unplayable Sunday, all teams will be playing a 9 inning game Sunday at Independence with a revised schedule.  That single 9 inning game schedule would be available Sunday morning.  Please be sure to check the FULL SCHEDULE page Saturday night and Sunday morning for any updates.  Schedule adjustments will also be announced first on the league Twitter account @SteveJamesPG.  

On to the preview!

Red Dragons (1-1) vs Aquasox (0-1-1)

The Red Dragons look to improve upon their 1-1 opening weekend as they take on the Aquasox who are in search of their first win.  The Red Dragons were led by Gavyn Ashley (2018 - Muscatine) opening weekend as he contributed on the mound and at the plate.  He's a fast twitch athlete who's arm strength has improved since last fall.  Evan Paulus (2019 - Newman Catholic) is another two-way player who has improved since last fall.  Paulus was dominant on the mound last weekend striking out 8 in 3 innings.  

The Aquasox' Graysen Drezek (2020 - North Scott) was impressive in his first PG outing topping at 83 MPH.  He's an interesting young player with good strength for his age.  Andrue Henry (2020 - Dubuque Senior) led the Aquasox at the plate with 2 hits.  He's another good young player with upside.  Zach Bierman (2019 - Western Dubuque) pitched well in the first weekend and should compete well against the Red Dragons this Sunday.

Grey Wolves (2-0) vs. Blue Crew (1-0-1) 

The Grey Wolves enter this weekend 2-0 with hot bats.  They scored 19 runs on 16 hits last weekend and look to carry that into this weekend.  Continuing those types of numbers will be difficult with the Blue Crew pitching staff which has allowed a league low 3 runs.  The Grey Wolves were led by Kade Vander Molen (2018 - Pella Christian) who collected 3 hits and scored 3 runs in Week 1.  He's a toolsy player who has really improved over the past year and a half.  He also pitched and was up to 85 MPH.  Luke Helland (2018 - Lake St. Louis, MO) also swung a hot bat last weekend collecting 3 hits as well.  Last weekend was the first glimpse we've had at Helland, and he was impressive with how he handled the bat.  Morningside commit Levi Davidson (2017 - Dakota City, NE) contributed with the bat and on the mound last weekend, look for him to do more of the same.  Luke Llewellyn (2018 - Urbandale) was up to 84 MPH and looks to build upon that this weekend.  

The Blue Crew pitching is talented and deep led by Iowa commit Clayton Nettleton, NIACC commit Evan Reifert, and Iowa commit Cam Baumann.  The rest of the pitching staff is where the Blue Crew made their mark last weekend.  The combination of Brendan Paper (2020 - Durant), Cade Lisk (2018 - Fairfield), Collin McCrabb (2019 - Wilton), Curtis Lilenthal (2018 - Durant), Noah McCreary (2018 - Davenport West), and Trevor Burkhart (2018 - Davenport West) combined to but up zeros on the board in their combined 11 innings of work.  Aside from all the zeros they put on the board last weekend, the whole staff put up a combined weekend total of 64.5% first pitch strikes, 14.4 pitches per inning, and a crazy good 7:1 strikeout to walk ratio.  I call that getting it done on the mound as a staff!

Black Magic (2-0) vs. Whitecaps (0-2)

The Black Magic had a good opening weekend going 2-0 allowing just 5 runs in 2 games.  They were led by Jake Bockenstedt (2018 - Washington), Jarrett Blunt (2018 - Ottumwa), and Tony Comellas (2018 - Iowa City West) on the mound.  Trever Brown (2018 - Don Bosco) led the team with 4 hits and also had a good outing on the mound as well.  Look for Austin Krob (2018 - Lisbon) to take a few steps forward the next few weeks.  He's an interesting left hander with a lot of upside who has been up to 85 MPH already.  Also watch for Casey Sole (2019 - Cedar Falls) to swing the bat well this weekend.  He walked 6 times last weekend and went 1-2 in his only official at bats.  He's gotten a lot stronger since last fall and has a smooth left handed swing.

Keaton Baayen (2018 - Pekin) was the standout performer for the Whitecaps last weekend collecting 2 hits and showing good receiving and blocking skills behind the plate.  He's an athletic catcher who showed the ability to handle the bat.  Conrad Burke (2019 - Cedar Falls) also collected 2 hits on the weekend.  Look for the addition of Ryan Morrissey (2017 - Pleasant Valley) to bolster the Whitecaps lineup.  Morrissey is a physical catcher who can really swing the bat.  

Golden Bears (0-0-2) vs Navy Seals (0-2) 

This match up has the best pitching match up of the weekend.  John Swanda (2017 - Roosevelt) looked good last weekend pitching for the Navy Seals topping at 88 MPH.  Joining him this weekend will be fellow Nebraska commit Ben Probst (2017 - Dowling) who was under the weather last weekend and will be making his debut Sunday.  They will be facing off against Arizona State commit Connor Van Scoyoc (2018 - Jefferson) and Butler commit Connor Schutlz (2017 - Cedar Falls).  Van Scoyoc was dominant last weekend locating well and topping out at 85 MPH.  Connor Schultz will be making his debut as well this weekend and has looked really good in bullpens this offseason.  

Will Nigut (2018 - Roosevelt) topped at 84 MPH for the Navy Seals and his younger brother Alec Nigut (2020 - Roosevelt) showed good pitchability and strike throwing.  Will also swung the bat well hammering a hard double down the left field line.  Watch for Izaya Ono-Fullard (2017 - Iowa City West) and Joel Thompson (2017 - Lewis Central) to swing the bats well this weekend.  

Iowa commit Brayden Frazier (2018 - Jefferson) had the most impressive weekend with the bat collecting 3 extra base hits and making consistent hard contact.  NIACC commit Kamrin Arons (2017 - Bettendorf) absolutely hammered a home run to center field last weekend.  Look for him to hit a few balls hard this weekend.  
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