IOWA CITY — In the middle of the second inning, during potentially the last game of Colton Bormann’s storied career in a Preston uniform, he led.
Bormann was the Big East Conference Most Valuable Player largely for what could to do with his arm. But after injuring it in the District 7 semifinal game last week, there were questions if he would take the mound again in Tuesday’s substate game against Van Buren of Keosauqua with a state tournament berth on the line.
Coach Matt Ash decided it was worth the gamble, and Bormann took the mound to start the game.
“Colton wanted the ball,” Ash said.
It looked as though the gamble paid off: Bormann went 1-2-3 to start the game. His run didn’t last, though, and after allowing four hits and two Warriors runs in the second, the senior made the selfless call to pull himself.
“I felt good, but my velocity was about 8 or 9 miles per hour down,” Bormann said. “Coach came out and I said to him, ‘Give Matt (Zeimet) the ball.’ “
Zeimet said, “I knew I had to be ready to go.”
Through seven innings the Trojans gave few concessions to Van Buren (23-5). The Warriors simply outpitched, out-hit, outfielded and generally outplayed their opponent en route to a 5-0 victory.
Thus, Preston fell one game short of its season goal to make it to state. Ash said that didn’t damper what the team accomplished in 2013.
“It’s not a terrible end result,” Ash said. “I know they’re probably terribly disappointed, having their sights set on state. It’s definitely not disappointing to me.”
Five of nine Trojans starters this season were freshmen or younger. The remainder of the lineup — seniors Bormann, Zeimet, Colin Larson and junior Craiton Andresen — assumed leadership roles for the 17-10 team, Ash said.