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Bulldog baseball places seven on All-District list

Andrew Brown - sports Reporter
Van Meter's All-District 12 honorees in Brett Berg, Jacob Blomgren, Anthony Potthoff, Zach Pleggenkuhle, Jack Pettit, Kolby Booge, and Bryce Cole. PHOTOS BY ANDREW BROWN/DALLAS COUNTY NEWS

Following what has been a state title season, the first round of honors has been bestowed upon the Class 2A champion Van Meter baseball team. With the official conclusion of the season, the All-District honors have been released.

For the Bulldogs, they witnessed seven of their own earn such All-District 12 honors. Van Meter was the only district champion to go through their district without giving up a single run. Nearly everybody on the Bulldog roster had a hand the team’s ninth straight district crown, including the four members of the first-team all-district list. That includes seniors Anthony Potthoff and Bret Berg alongside juniors Jacob Blomgren and Zach Pleggenkuhle. The Bulldogs also had three second-team selections in Bryce Cole, Kolby Booge, and Jack Pettit.

First Team

It’s the third-straight season where the Bulldogs have put at least five on the all-district list which has included the senior pair of Anthony Potthoff and Bret Berg. Potthoff earned his spot in the utility role. The future DMACC star was second across the Class 2A scene in pitching wins with seven which came courtesy of his 63 strikeouts (third-most in Class2A) through 45 innings pitched. With the bat, Potthoff was also dangerous to opponents. Through 24 games played on the season, Potthoff struck 18 hits which turned into 17 RBI. He became the only pitcher in Class 2A over the last ten years to produce back-to-back shutout state title games.

For fellow DMACC star Bret Berg, his name has been synonymous with strong offense. Berg too found his way back onto the All-District list for the second straight season with 25 singles. The senior wrapped up 2020 with a .390 batting average and translated that into a district-best 28 RBI through just 27 hits on the season. He was a double all-state honoree for both the coaches and the IPSWA polls respectively and would be right on track to do so this season especially after capturing 39 total bases across the 2020 season.

Pleggenkuhle came in as a pitcher for the All-District list. The junior posted the third-lowest ERA among Class 2A pitchers with at least six starts. Through 36 innings total in 2020, the junior delivered on 51 strikeouts which average nearly nine strikeouts per game. Opponents could barely find a way to scratch any production against Pleggenkuhle as evidence by the .101 opposing batting average against the junior.

Stemming from his sophomore season in 2019, Blomgren has become a recognizable name. He was 3-for-9 with three RBI alone in district and substate action in the 2020 season. Overall, 2020 has seen the two-year starter flash a .342 batting average with 25 total hits and 15 runs driven in.

Second Team

Within the second-team, all-district ranks included senior Kolby Booge. The multi-year starter had another solid season complete with a .297 batting average, 19 hits, and 16 RBI. Booge was known as the best bunter across the Van Meter lineup and tied for first in Class 2A with six sacrifice bunts on the year, one of which ended up in a walk-off game-winner.

Among the many critical members of the Bulldog baseball team is senior catcher Bryce Cole. Another multi-year starter, Cole found his way on base any way he could in 2020 including 16 hits, 11 walks, and being hit by pitch nine times. Overall, nobody was better than Cole in putouts as the senior totaled 197 across the 2020 campaign.

Jack Pettit’s contribution to the 2020 season could not be understated as well. The sophomore went 2-for-7 with a pair of RBI throughout substate action along. Overall on the season, Pettit hit .338 (one of the better marks by a sophomore in Van Meter history) while striking for 23 total hits and 12 RBI.