Kee baseball team’s undefeated week of four wins includes clinching share of UIC title, first-round district tournament win over Riceville

Three hits, six strike-outs, no walks... Kee baseball junior pitcher Jonah Reinke fires a pitch toward home plate in the Hawks’ 18-1 mercy-rule win in four innings over Riceville at home Saturday, July 10 in the opening round of Class 1A district tournament play. Reinke allowed the Wildcats just three hits, one run - unearned, and no free passes while striking out six batters in his complete-game mound victory. Photo courtesy of Maggy Weymiller. View and find out how to purchase this photo and many more by clicking on the Photo Galleries link on this webpage.

The Kee baseball team put together another undefeated week on the field this past week, but this latest series of final result success held much more meaning than any of the Hawks’ couple other unblemished weeks of competition this season. This past week’s four wins began with a final Upper Iowa Conference (UIC) sweep that clinched a share of Kee’s first Upper Iowa Conference season championship since the 2016 season and ended with a successful first step down the Hawks’ postseason tournament road.

That UIC title-clinching sweep came at Postville Monday, July 5 by mercy-rule scores of 18-0 and 26-0, both in four innings, before the Hawks wrapped up their regular season schedule with a 5-2 win over Easton Valley Wednesday, July 7 in a date at the Upper Iowa University baseball field in Fayette that was originally scheduled to be a doubleheader but had the second game canceled by rainy weather. The Kee diamond dwellers then finished of their week by opening Class 1A District 4 Tournament play at home Saturday, July 10 against Riceville, getting that postseason journey started with an 18-1 mercy-rule victory in four innings that earned the Hawks further postseason advancement.

The Hawks now hold a 30-9 overall record that includes a 16-2 mark in UIC play that ties the Hawks with South Winneshiek’s 16-2 UIC record for this season’s UIC title. The Hawks do hold a 2-1 advantage in wins over the Warriors in their three-game UIC series this season, a June 7 home doubleheader sweep by scores of 7-0 and 5-3 in comparison to a 5-0 Kee loss suffered June 24.

With their first-round victory over Riceville, the Hawks moved on to a District 4 semifinals match-up Tuesday, July 13 in New Albin against Wapsie Valley, a team the Kee baseball boys dropped a 12-3 road decision to June 22 without junior catcher Buddy Hill in the line-up. The winner of that semifinals match-up will then play in the District 4 championship game Saturday, July 17 at 7 p.m. at Shooky Fink Field in New Albin against either South Winneshiek or St. Ansgar, with that District 4 champion then advancing on to the Class 1A Substate 2 championship game, playing Tuesday, July 20 at 7 p.m. at Charles City High School against either Mason City Newman, Nashua-Plainfield, Rockford or Northwood-Kensett. That Substate 2 champion will earn qualification for this year’s Class 1A State Tournament in Carroll.

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