Rivals Cascade, Dyersville Beckman set for familiar postseason meeting

State berth on the line for traditional powers

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Baseball has a longstanding tradition in Dubuque County.

Cascade and Dyersville Beckman are set to add another chapter to their history and there is much more at stake than bragging rights.

The sixth-ranked Cougars and Blazers will face off in the Class 2A Substate 4 final Tuesday at Farley, beginning at 7 p.m.

The same teams played at the same site a year ago with Cascade (28-9) earning its fourth state berth. The Blazers (23-17) did exact a little revenge in the regular season, posting a 4-3 victory at home.

“It’s definitely a huge game, being it’s our rival,” Beckman’s Connor McDermott said. “It’s the same situation as last year. We went out there and unfortunately we lost. We played them earlier this year and came out with a win, so let’s just hope it’s the same turnout.”

Due to geography and enrollment, their paths normally cross in the postseason. The two have played each other in district or substate in five of the last six seasons. This year marks the third straight year one of their seasons will end at the hands of their rival.

Cascade Coach Roamn Hummel said fans are always curious about pairings when substate assignments are released.

“The first thing people kind of ask me is if Dyersville is on your side,” said Hummel, noting that it has happened for decades. “I think it’s becoming the norm anymore, that at some point in time whether it be a district final or a substate game, we’re going to end up playing them.”

The game is a little more intense and can be a little more electric compared to a contest against a different opponent. It extends beyond the starters, including reserves and even fans.

“We talk a lot more and everyone’s a little extra amped up,” Beckman sophomore Jackson Bennett said. “Everyone’s more into the game. The guys on the bench are cheering and everything. You can’t sit back during those games.”

Beckman Coach Tom Jenk said he has no doubt that both programs are in the middle of the state’s hotbed.

 

“Northeast Iowa is baseball country,” Jenk said. “Just take a look at it from Cedar Rapids on over. I don’t care if it’s 4A, 3A, 2A or 1A. We tend to dominate the state when it comes to playing baseball the right way.”

The rivalry doesn’t extend beyond the chalk lines for some. They share the love of baseball outside of varsity play.

“I have a lot of friends in Cascade,” said Bennett, mentioning Cascade’s Trace Hoffman and Bryce Simon. “We play Perfect Game and Legion (baseball) together. We’re good friends, but on the field we’re competitors.”

Cascade’s postseason win last season snapped Beckman’s three-year streak of state finals appearances, including back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013. Bennett said the Blazers have thought about that game and it has motivated them since the end of last season.

Jenk said this is a new year and he doesn’t see the past as a factor.

“Last year’s teams were last year’s teams,” Jenk said. “We have different kids and different personnel.

“The rivalry is always going to be there. The skill level is going to be different all the way through. Both of us know how to play the games and like to win. It’s going to be a good experience.”

The regular-season loss added fuel to the Cougars fire as well. They have felt the sting of that setback and are determined to earn consecutive state berths for the first time in program history. This is a chance to make amends.

“We didn’t play very well in that game,” Hummel said. “I think our guys are looking forward to having an opportunity to play them again, and then throw the fact on top of it that it’s a chance to go to the state tournament.”

Both teams suffered slow starts to this season. They both have progressed with the season. Hummel said intangibles have powered this year’s team, making up for less pitching depth and power at the plate.

“We are scrappy this year,” Hummel said. “We find ways to win games.

“The guys have gelled enough to come together a little bit, understanding that is who we are.”

Beckman has won 26 district titles. The Blazers are attempting to reach the state tournament a 17th time, which could tie West Des Moines Dowling for third all-time.

They will face a familiar foe, yet again.

“We respect each other and each other’s ability,” Jenk said. “We feel whoever wins that game has a real good chance to go down to the state tournament and succeed.”

CLASS 2A SUBSTATE FINALS

PPD TO WED: No. 2 Clear Lake (27-7) vs. Central Springs (21-12) at Mason City

No. 3 New Hampton (29-4) vs. Denver (19-15) at Waverly-Shell Rock

PPD TO WED: No. 5 Van Meter (27-4) vs. Pleasantville (27-9) at Indianola

No. 6 Cascade (28-9) vs. Dyersville Beckman (23-17) at Western Dubuque (Farley)

No. 8 Hinton (22-5) vs. Cherokee (24-7) at MOC-Floyd Valley

PPD TO WED: Iowa City Regina (22-16) vs. Van Buren (22-4) at TBD

PPD TO WED: Baxter CMB (13-11) vs. Ogden (20-11) at Boone

PPD TO WED: Clarinda (13-15) vs. Carroll Kuemper (23-11) at Harlan

CLASS 1A SUBSTATE FINALS

PPD TO WED: No. 1 Mason City Newman (31-5) vs. Grundy Center (10-18) at Hampton-Dumont

PPD TO WED: No. 2 Don Bosco (33-4) vs. BGM (23-7) at Marshalltown

PPD TO WED: No. 3 West Sioux (24-2) vs. Fort Dodge St. Edmond (17-12) at Spencer

No. 4 Lawton-Bronson (25-4) vs. Remsen St. Mary's (29-5) at Le Mars

No. 5 Alburnett (31-7) vs. Edgewood-Colesburg (20-12) at West Delaware, 8:30 p.m.

PPD TO WED: No. 6 North Linn (34-9) vs. Highland (23-6) at TBD

PPD TO WED: No. 7 Coon Rapids-Bayard (28-9) vs. Tri-Center (18-8) at Atlantic

PPD TO WED: No. 9 Martensdale-St. Marys (28-12) vs. Nodaway Valley (18-10) at Creston

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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