Beckman Wins 4th State Baseball Title
DES MOINES – Nate Steger knew it was coming. He and battery mate Lucas Jacque talked about it before the game.
It’s important to know exactly what your celebration is going to be. No need not to be coordinated with the thing.
“First game, we kind of jumped into each other,” Steger said. “Second game, he hoisted me up.”
This time had to be even more memorable because it was the grand finale, the Class 2A state championship game. So when first baseman Michael Boeckenstedt caught a throw from shorstop Ian Ross to complete a double play that cemented Dyersville Beckman’s 3-1 win Saturday afternoon over North Polk, catcher Jacque sprinted toward pitcher Steger, who was facing him in front of the mound, and absolutely planted him to the turf with a flying shoulder tackle.
We’re talking a real de-cleater here.
“He said we were going to do something different this time,” Steger said. “He told me he was going to light me up.”
Oh, he did. It had to hurt, right?
“I couldn’t feel it,” Steger said with a smile
Euphoria’s a great feeling. This was Beckman’s fourth state baseball title, its first since 2000.
Steger was the starting third baseman when Beckman was runner-up in 2009. There was nothing runner-up about this club, which finished 38-7 and winners of 27 of their final 28 games.
“After we lost to North Fayette last year in the substate final, our first words in our team meeting were ‘Next year,’” said Beckman Coach Tom Jenk Jr. “We started it right there.”
They ended it at Principal Park by denting a pitcher that went through the entire season undented. North Polk’s Jacob Hadaway came into Saturday’s game with a 10-0 record and 0.00 earned run average.
The right-hander went his first 68 innings without allowing an earned run and just two overall. His streak ended in the Beckman second, when Ross doubled leading off and scored on Boeckenstedt’s two out-single up the middle.
“That scared us a little bit, when you look at that 0.00 earned run average,” Steger said. “But we said no one was going throw harder than that kid from Carroll Kuemper that we faced (Chris Halbur in the semifinals). He threw pretty well. We just tried to wait (Hadaway) out. Timely hitting, which we got.”
After Boeckenstedt’s timely knock, No. 9 hitter Ty Troutman was awarded first base on a controversial hit by pitch. An up-and-in fastball produced a check swing, with the ball spinning crazily out in front of home plate and Troutman running toward first.
The home-plate umpire, however, called time, saying the pitch had hit Troutman. After a meeting with the three other umpires, the call stood.
“Better to be safe than sorry,” Troutman said, when asked why he ran. “The pitch hit my right wrist.”
Robbie Anstoetter came up next and drilled a two-run triple into the left-field corner to give Beckman the lead for good. Anstoetter went 4-for-4 with two doubles to go along with his triple.
“We were patient with our at-bats and waited for something to hit,” Anstoetter said. “We put the ball in play and tried to make things happen.”
Hadaway ended up allowing seven hits in six innings, striking out 11. Lefty Adam Noethe (9-0) went the first 3 2/3 innings for Beckman, giving up an unearned run, before Steger took over and finished up.
North Polk (31-5) coaxed two walks out of him with one out in the seventh, but No. 3 hitter Noah Pickard bounced one up the middle that Ross fielded, stepped on second and threw to first. Championship.
“It’s like I told them, defense wins championships,” Jenk said. “I told them to remember we were the home team, and that if anything crazy happened, we would get to bat again. Don’t panic, play the game just like we’ve done all year.”
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