With high school baseball in Iowa entering week three of the shortened season, the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association has released another set of class rankings.
Among the top ten across the classes, there lies several Dallas County News coverage area teams:
Class 2A: Van Meter (1)
For the second straight week in a row, the defending Class 2A champion Bulldogs rest as the top team in the class. It’s not hard to see why especially after a light week where they outscored their opponents 20-1. Van Meter started out the week on Thursday and the bats flew yet again, sweeping conference foe ACGC 11-0 in game one and with a near perfect pitching performance by Zach Pleggenkuhle to help with a 7-0 game two shutout. The Bulldogs rounded out the week in Panora where they stole the game in the top half of the sixth inning to earn their eighth win of the season. They used nine hits and struck out nine on the mound to capture 19th straight win over the Panthers.
“The mark of a good ball team is finding ways to win games and we’ve had a variety of guys step up in many different situations,” began head coach Mike Kennedy. “Our two-strike approach has gotten a lot better and our veteran guys are really helping this team earn those runs by doing the little things right.”
The Bulldogs will have another tough slate ahead beginning with a home battle against Earlham on Monday, June 29. Des Moines Christian will come into town to round out the month of June on Tuesday. That will be followed with a Thursday doubleheader against Madrid and the week will wrap up with a battle against Class 3A’s Bondurant-Farrar on Friday July 3.
Class 3A: Dallas Center-Grimes (2)
After an impressive first week of action, the Dallas Center-Grimes High School baseball team took it up a notch in week two. From their collective hard work, the Mustangs now rank second among Class 3A teams according to the IHSBCA. You don’t have to dive too deep to understand why they made the jump. The Mustangs outscored their week two opponents 36-15. DCG has now gotten off to their best start in over five years at 9-0 entering the new week. A big reason for the early dominance by the Mustangs could be their early-game scoring. Throughout the second week of action alone, the Mustangs have rattled off 24 total runs within the first three innings of games, the largest mark inside the Little Hawkeye Conference and top 15 inside the Class 3A ranks.
“Our guys are doing a great job against the competition they’ve faced,” began head coach Byron Peyton. “They handle adversity well and each game your going to face that and these guys have been able to step up well.”
The next week for the Mustangs includes a road trip to Pella High School on Monday, June 29, a doubleheader home battle with Norwalk to begin the month of July on Wednesday, and a single game battle against Newton to round out the week at home.
Class 4A: Waukee (7)
The Waukee High School Warriors fell a few spots in the new rankings but still reside inside the top ten as the seventh-ranked team in Class 4A. It was quite the roller coaster week for the Warriors who began the week with a doubleheader split against the reigning Class 4A champions in Urbandale. That was followed up with a split against second-ranked Johnston, all before dropping two games to fifth-ranked Ankeny. Overall, the Warriors hung tough for the week despite being outscored 44-26.
The week was highlighted by a 16 strikeout performance by future University of Iowa player Jackson Payne in game one of the Urbandale doubleheader. Through extra innings the Warriors came out on top an impressed head coach David Dirkx.
“It was a great high school baseball game for sure,” began Dirkx. “Jackson was really good that game and pitched the daylight out of the game. It was a great high school game overall.”
That was followed up with 33 combined runs in the battle against Johnston and ended in a tough two-game battle with Ankeny to round out the week. Throughout the week the Warriors averaged nearly nine hits per contest against teams that were in or near the state tournament last season. The next week for the Warriors will be another tough slate as they take on top-ranked Dowling Catholic on Monday, June 29. They then follow that up with a road doubleheader against Southeast Polk to kick off the month of July (Wednesday, July 1) and the week will wrap up with another home contest as they take on West Des Moines Valley on Thursday, July 2.