DICKINSON, N.D. — Dubuque County is a historically baseball-esque part of the state. They love the sport there, have semi-pro teams and always strong high school teams.
It was the site of the movie “Field Of Dreams,” of course.
So it’s pretty apropos that the first Iowa team to qualify for the American Legion World Series in over 30 years comes from Dyersville. And Epworth and Cascade and Dubuque.
Dubuque County won two games Sunday, including a 3-2, winner-take-all final over West Fargo, N.D., to claim the Central Plains Regional Tournament championship. A group of players from the three Dubuque high schools, Cascade, Dyersville Beckman and Western Dubuque will play in the World Series at Shelby, N.C., this week.
A first-round game against Wilmington, Del., is Thursday at 10 a.m. Games 7 through 15 of the eight-team, double-elimination tournament are televised on ESPNU.
Dubuque County is the first American Legion World Series qualifier from Iowa since 1986.
“It means everything,” Dubuque County’s Sam Goodman said via video posted on the Central Plains tournament’s official Twitter account. “I know the guys are super excited. We can’t wait.”
Goodman, a Wichita State commit and senior to be at Western Dubuque, was the winning pitcher in both of Sunday’s games: 10-0 victory over West Fargo, followed by the exciting finale. Jackson Bennett’s RBI double in the sixth inning provided the winning run.
Dubuque County won its first two games of this tourney but allowed four runs in the seventh inning of a winner’s bracket game Friday to lose to West Fargo, 5-4. It rebounded Saturday to eliminate Rapid City, S.D., setting up Sunday’s heroics.
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“That’s kind of what the plan was. We knew if we could go out and get a nice, solid win the first game, momentum could help us the second game,” Goodman said.
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