DAWSON - With a 5-2 win over Lakeview on Wednesday in a Section 3A play-in game, the Dawson-Boyd baseball team finds itself in a bit of dj vu.
Last year, the Blackjacks won a section play-in game against the Lakers, went on to play the North sub-section's top team, Canby, and proceeded to pull off one of the area's biggest upsets in a 6-1 victory.
This Saturday, Dawson-Boyd will be back on the road, facing Canby, the North's No. 1 seed. But this time, the Blackjacks know they will have a prepared Lancers team that is ready to avenge last year's upset.
Photo by Joe Brown
Dawson-Boyd pitcher Nathaniel Huot tosses a pitch during Wednesday’s Section 3A play-in game against Lakeview in Dawson. Huot struck out six as the Blackjacks moved on with a 5-2 victory.
"I'm guessing Canby's not going to take it too lightly," Blackjacks head coach Preston Schwegel joked. "I'm sure they'll want to win their first game."
Added Dawson-Boyd outfielder Esten Weber, "We're hoping we can get another good outing. When we played (Canby) earlier in the year, they won 14-1. Our bats weren't working that day, but if we play good, solid ball like we did (Wednesday), we'll see what happens."
Against Lakeview on Wednesday, the Blackjacks wasted little time by getting their first four batters on base. Nathaniel Huot, D-B's No. 2 hitter, walked, then before the next batter stepped up, Huot ran to second and got a stolen base. With runners on second and third, Justin Lee belted a deep two-run double, and Jordan Staab followed with an RBI double that put the Blackjacks up 3-0 after the first frame.
"It just comes down to doing the small things for us and hustling it out," said Weber, who was 3-for-4 with a run scored, an RBI and three stolen bases.
After a shaky first inning, the Lakers were able to relax, holding the Blackjacks hitless in the second and third innings. In the top of the third, Lakeview cracked four hits, and Jackson Lovsness scored on an RBI double by Cody St. Aubin. With two outs, the Lakers had bases loaded, but D-B coaxed Lakeview into a pop fly for the final out.
Finishing with eight hits and no fielding errors, Lakers head coach Tom Yahnka admitted Wednesday's game was one of the team's best outputs of the season.
"We did a really nice job after that first inning of settling in," Yahnka said. "It's a goal of ours this season to have no errors in a game. ... And on offense, we had two doubles. I think coming into this game we had two doubles all season."
In the bottom of the fourth, Brock Kemen started a surge for the Blackjacks with a leadoff single. With Kemen on second following a passed ball, Josh Wager hit an RBI single. Then Weber stepped up and belted an RBI single.
"Esten hasn't played baseball for a couple years, he was just doing track, but we got him to do both this year," Schwegel said, "and he's only struck out two or three times this year. He's putting the ball in play. And he's fast. When he gets on, he can be on second or third in most games."
Down 5-1 with runners on first and third and no outs, the Lakers' Randy Louwagie tacked on a run with an RBI double. Wyatt Schuster and Louwagie were on third and second, respectively, but Huot got a pop-up and two straight strikeouts to end the scoring threat.
"Nathaniel threw strikes, and that was the biggest thing today," Schwagel said.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Lakeview's Seth Boerboom reached second after a single and a wild pitch. With Derek Larsen at the plate and the game-tying run in the on-deck circle, Huot forced Larsen into a weak grounder down the first-base line to secure the victory.
Facing the 13-1 Lancers on Saturday in Canby, the Blackjacks go to 3-12 overall. Lakeview ends the season with an 0-14 record.
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L-Randy Louwagie; DB-Nathaniel Huot. WP-Huot. LP-Louwagie. 2B: L-Cody St. Aubin, Louwagie; DB-Justin Lee, Jordan Staab. LOB: L-7; DB-6.