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Baseball: Xavier Wins Metro Tournament

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MARION, Iowa This was the exclamation point. Rather the final exclamation point in a tournament full of them for the Cedar Rapids Xavier Saints.

"This was definitely not a shock to anyone on our team," said Xavier's Adam Pick, after an 11-1, six-inning romp past Cedar Rapids Washington last night in the championship game of the Bob Vrbicek Metro Tournament at Linn-Mar. "We definitely had a good team coming in, we knew that. We knew we could hit, we had depth, and we had pitching. With those three things, we knew we could take this."

Xavier (3-0) took it with authority, outscoring its three opponents by a combined 27-2. The Saints had 35 hits in the tournament and gave up five.

This was utter dominance.

"I think everybody on our team had a great tournament," said shortstop Corbin Woods, whose two-run home run the other way to right field in the first inning got Xavier rolling immediately. "From the top of the lineup all the way down to the bottom, we hit the ball really well. Our pitching was phenomenal, too."

Zach Brown threw a no-hitter against Linn-Mar in Tuesday night's semifinals. A.J. Puk and Johnny Dobbs had hits in the first inning for Washington, but that was it against starting pitcher Pick and relievers Eric Schemmel and Drew Scott until the sixth.

Noah Burdt's two-out RBI single to center with two outs averted a shutout for Wash (2-1).

"We wanted to see where we were at," said Xavier Coach Dave Schemmel. "We knew we had a bunch of guys coming back from last year (who were) bigger and stronger. We play as well as our pitching pitches, and we did a nice job pitching. What's we give up, (two) runs in three games? That's pretty good."

"I think everyone on the team knows what each other is capable of," Woods said, who already has three homers in the early going. "We hold each other to high standards. We just try to get the best out of each other, and hopefully it shows out on the field."

Washington Coach Tony Lombardi said his inexperienced team shouldn't hang its collective head after this one. The Warriors start a couple of freshmen and an eighth-grader.

"You're trying to get to know your ballclub in this tournament," Lombardi said. "Who wants to compete, who doesn't. You can't evaluate that in practice. I'm very pleased with what we did."

In the third-place game, Linn-Mar beat Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 7-4. Austin Stroschein had a pair of hits, including an RBI double for the Lions.

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