NICL East Baseball Champions: D-NH ready for final regular-season tests

D-NH's Ely Sohn (14) and Tim Koop celebrate after Sohn scored the eventual game-winning run in the first game of a doubleheader sweep of Wapsie Valley last Monday. (Jake Ryder photo)

DIKE – Sean Leonard feels like his team is going to compete for an NICL East title, year in, year out.

  

Dike-New Hartford baseball came through again this summer, making it four league titles in a row after clinching the championship last Monday in Dike with a sweep of Wapsie Valley.

  

Now, the Wolverines turn their attention to a tough end to the regular-season schedule, trying to prepare themselves for what they hope will be a deep postseason run.

  

D-NH, ranked second in Class 2A and carrying a 23-2 record into the final two weeks of the regular season, is scheduled to play Class 1A No. 6 Don Bosco in Dike on Tuesday, 1A's top-ranked Mason City Newman on Wednesday and rounds out the week on Friday at Lisbon against a team that has been receiving votes at times in the 1A poll this season. The regular season wraps up the following week with games at Roland-Story, a twinbill with Independence and a road game at Iowa Falls-Alden.

  

"Coach told us these next two weeks are going to be the hardest schedule the Wolverines have played in a while," D-NH junior Reece Beuter said. "Playing these games will definitely help us improve and we need to step up and embrace it."

  

Beuter, recently returned from a minor injury suffered in a game against Aplington-Parkersburg, has been tack sharp on the mound for the Wolverines with a 5-0 record, allowing one earned run in 39 and two-third innings pitched with 64 strikeouts compared to 12 walks. The No. 2 in the rotation, Drew Sonnenberg, is not far off pace with a 0.68 ERA in 41 innings pitched with 35 strikeouts and four walks.

  

D-NH also has one of the most error-averse defenses in Class 2A with a .958 fielding percentage.

  

"We're not so worried about our pitching and defense," Leonard said. "Our two guys that will throw in the tournament will be difficult to hit and we feel good with those two guys and the defense behind them."

 

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