116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
SOLON — A trip to state seemed inevitable depending on the time and what dugout you happened to be standing in. A frantic back-and-forth game that played deep into the night wasn’t settled until the very end. Just one out from its 19th state tournament appearance, Dyersville Beckman lost in heartbreaking fashion as Camanche walked it off for a wild 12-11 win Tuesday night in the Class 2A Substate 5 final.
"Looking back at every little thing we could have done is just awful," Beckman infielder Nate Offerman said. "Every single person on this team could have done something different to win that game, but at the end of the day we didn't do it and (Camanche) beat us."
Mike Delzell and Byrns, a pair of thumpers in the middle of the Indians (22-7) order, chased Beckman (21-15) starter Logan Burchard in the third as they took a 5-0 lead, a lead that looked comfortable as Camanche starter Garrett Schultz breezed through three no-hit innings.
Owen Huehnergarth led off the top of the fourth for the Blazers with a walk. Offerman brought him home with an RBI double. The Indians elected to go with the quick hook. It was a decision they would ultimately regret.
Thirteen Blazers came to the plate in the inning. Three hits, six walks and an error later, Beckman had seized the lead, plating eight. Bryce Boekholder ripped an RBI double and No. 9 hitter Luke Sigwarth laced a clutch two-run single as momentum swung to Beckman.
Momentum began to swing back to the Camanche dugout in the bottom of the fourth, but with a run in, Kyle DeWeerdt was thrown out at home.
Beckman added a run in the top of the sixth, but left the bases loaded.
Clinging to a 9-6 lead entering the bottom of the sixth, a single and two walks loaded the bases with one out, prompting Beckman to re-enter Burchard on the mound.
Byrns stepped to the plate and promptly launched a soaring home run to left field, as the Indians dugout was in a frenzy. Byrns crossed the plate with the go-ahead run.
"It looked like they were camped under it," Byrns said. "I was just happy that it got out."
Down to their final two outs, leadoff hitter Luke Schieltz blasted a line drive over the right field wall, tying the game with a solo shot.
With two outs, Nick Offerman’s infield fly fell between the third baseman and shortstop as he raced to second. Following a walk, Nate Offerman found a hole on the right side as Beckman took an 11-10 lead.
The Indians’ No. 8 and 9 hitters went down on strikes to open the bottom of the seventh.
"It was just a rush of nerves," Byrns said.
Down to their final out, Tucker Dickherber was hit by a pitch and took second on a wild pitch. DeWeerdt hit a grounder that slipped through the right side, allowing Dickherber to score the tying run. Delzell stepped up and delivered a single to center as DeWeerdt rounded third and stepped on the plate to send Camanche to state for the third time, its first appearance since 1996.
"Everyone put their heart out on the line," Nate Offerman said. "It's just a bad feeling."