CEDAR RAPIDS — One big inning.

The Burlington High School baseball team matched Cedar Rapids Jefferson pitch for pitch, hit for hit, out for out for six innings of Friday night's Class 4A substate quarterfinal game at Jefferson High School.

One big inning cost the Grayhounds the game, and ultimately, their season.

After a 30-minute rain delay, the J-Hawks erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and went on to a 7-0 victory over the Grayhounds.

Jefferson (27-13) advances to a substate semifinal on Monday to play the winner of the game between Davenport North and Cedar Rapids Washington. That game was still in progress at press time.

BHS ends the season with a 16-19 record and says goodbye to a senior class of 12 players who laid it on the line 35 times for the Grayhounds this season.

"The big inning. Unfortunately we've had that happen a couple times this year," BHS coach Brock Schneden said. "The kids really competed hard through those first four innings. They really battled."

BHS simply couldn't solve Jefferson ace Chase Keeney. The lanky left-hander scattered five hits and struck out 11 batters. He has fanned 86 batters in 58 2/3 innings of work this season. Only twice did BHS have runners in scoring position. Each time, Keeney countered with a strikeout.

"That kid was good," Schneden said of Keener. "I thought we did a good job of putting together some good at-bats and giving ourselves some chances. We just couldn't string together any hits."

"Just looking for that one timely hit to push a run across and I think you would have seen a little bit of that momentum swing our way," Schneden said. "Like a lot of teams, we're a momentum team. When we get it on our side we usually do a pretty good job of riding it out"

BHS senior Ethan Zaiser matched Keeney for the first three innings, getting a big assist from centerfielder Blaise Rossen, who fired a perfect strike to catcher Danny Topping to gun down courtesy runner Davin Hulsing, who was trying to score from second on a base bit by Zach Grant in the second inning.

The J-Hawks broke the game open in the fourth inning, sending 11 batters to the plate in an inning that lasted nearly as long as the rain delay. Willie Guy led off the inning with a walk and later drew another walk. Logan Pady drew a walk and Ozzie Meiborg singled in Guy with what proved to be the game-winning run. Jaxson Kevitt singled in another run and Brayden Frazier doubled in another before Schneden brought in Mason Fort to pitch. Fort was greeted with a two-run home run by T.J. Kuennen before the Garyhounds finally got out of the inning.

A pair of BHS errors kept the inning alive for Jefferson.

One big inning.

"We gave them a few extra outs that inning," Schneden said. "It just kind of snowballed. A couple extra outs, a couple extra baserunners and they drop in a couple bloop hits. Unfortunately that was kind of the night for us."

It was the bottom of the J-Hawks' order which did the majority of the damage for the J-Hawks. Grant, Meiborg and Kevitt — the seven, eight and nine hitters in the order — were a combined 6-for-9, scored two runs and drove in two more.

As tough as the loss was, the hardest part for Schneden and assistant coach Scott Mason was saying goodbye to seniors Cody Parrish, Brett Levins, Mason Leinbach, Josh Orth, Rosson, Riley Gilpin, Topping, Everett Willson, Zaiser, Brad Phillips, Isaiah Perez-Hall and Blake Roberts.

"Twelve seniors and 12 kids that are all good character, phenomenal kids. That's the most difficult part," Schneden said. "We tried to let them know how proud we are of them. We thanked them for allowing us to come along on the ride with them, watching them develop over the last four or five years. I told them I can't wait to see what they do with their lives. That's a group right there that's going to be extremely successful. It's a group that Burlington should be proud of. Burlington High School shoul;d be really proud of that group. They are going to continue to represent the city and that school well."


CR Jefferson;000;700;x;—;7;9;1

WP — Chase Keeney (8-2). LP — Ethan Zaiser (5-3). Leading hitters — Cedar Rapids Jefferson: Zach Grant 2-3, Ozzie Meiborg 2-3, Jaxson Kevitt 2-3, Brayden Frazier 2-4. 2B — Frazier, Meiborg. HR — T.J. Kuennen (CRJ). RBI — Cedar Rapids Jefferson: Kuennen 2, Frazier 1, Meiborg 1, Kevitt 1.

Records: Burlington 16-19, Cedar Rapids Jefferson 27-13.