Dallas Center-Grimes baseball looks to rebuild after state appearance
Coming off a state tournament run in 2020, Dallas Center-Grimes baseball has plenty to live up to as a new group of players is called up to action.
The Mustangs opened their season with a 12-2 loss to Waukee on May 26 and the next day dropped a doubleheader to Urbandale. While the 0-3 start to open the season is disheartening at first glance, it's not out of the norm for DCG.
That start practically mirrors the team's starts in 2016-2019 as the Mustangs lost doubleheaders with Class 4A juggernaut Urbandale and lost to either Waukee or Ballard to put DCG on an early skid. Dallas Center still managed to pull out a winning season in both 2016 and 2019. But they'll have to put in serious work to match last year's state-qualifying team that finished with an 18-4 record.
DCG comes into 2021 with a revamped roster after last year's senior-laden crew departed. Not only did the Mustangs lose the majority of their starters, but there’s also considerable depth absent. Of the previous team's 11 players that had at least five hits, only three remain — Caleb Dicken (24 hits), Jordan Sedivec (19) and Clayton Campidilli (5).
Dicken returns as the team's most efficient batter as he also led the team with 20 RBI, 36 total bases and a line of .400/.513/.600 to rank among the top hitters in the Little Hawkeye.
With 20 strikeouts and a 2-1 record on the mound, he also comes in as one of the most experienced pitchers along with Huston Halverson who finished 3-0 and struck out 24 batters. Together, they have considerable shoes to fill in two-time all-stater Logan Smith's absence.
Streak to Watch
Considering the school's dominance across a variety of sports, it may come as a surprise Mustangs baseball has not had three straight winning seasons since 2016.
State of the Conference
The Little Hawkeye was largely dominated by three teams between DCG, Oskaloosa and Class 3A state champ Norwalk last season. A week into the season, both DCG and Oskie sit in the bottom of the league standings while Norwalk hopes to keep up the 3-0 pace without two all-state selections. Grinnell could be one of the most improved teams with arguably the school's best-ever starts at 6-0. Indianola sits strong at 5-0 as well.