Evaluation period shorter as Cyclones eye state return
HARLAN (June 4) -- The goal for the Harlan Community baseball team - finish the season in Des Moines - is a constant from year to year.
And for eight consecutive seasons prior to last July, it was a reality.
Longtime Cyclone head coach Steve Daeges and his staff have a proven system in place of evaluation, trial and error, fine-tuning and ultimately putting the best team on the field for a four-to-six game postseason run.
Thanks to COVID-19 and a condensed regular season in 2020, that process will need to be expedited this summer if the Cyclones are going to qualify for their ninth state tournament in 10 years.
Practice started June 1 for baseball teams across the state and HCHS will open the season June 15 at St. Albert. Just 32 days later, Class 3A district play will commence.
“Usually about 15 games in, which is what we’re scheduled to play (this year), you’re starting to re-evaluate where you need to go, what changes you need to make,” Daeges said.
“‘Do (we) need to move some players and do we need to change our offensive lineup, do we need to bunt more?’ This year we’re not going to have that luxury of having 15 games and then another 15 to kind of sort that out, so I think it’s going to be a little tougher and hopefully we make some good choices and we’re ready to go come tournament time. I guess we’ll just give it our best shot.”
The Cyclones graduated six seniors that contributed to last year’s success, including IBCA Super Team members Brett Sears and Luke Schaben. Four of the six were all-conference selections as HCHS finished 26-8 overall and tied for second place in the Hawkeye Ten at 15-5. ADM upset the Cyclones, 3-1, in a Class 3A substate final.
Eight varsity letter winners are back from that squad, led by second-team all-stater Connor Bruck - one of just two seniors on this year’s roster.
Harlan Community Baseball Profile
26-8 Overall, 15-5 Hawkeye Ten Conf. (T-2nd Place); 3A Substate Finalist.
Postseason Run: def. Atlantic 2-0; def. Winterset 5-2; lost to ADM 3-1.
All-State Honors: Brett Sears (IBCA Super Team/Captain of 3A; IPSWA First Team Infielder); Luke Schaben (IBCA Super Team); Connor Bruck (IBCA Second Team Utility; IPSWA Third Team Pitcher).
All three players listed above were named First Team All-District (3A SW).
All-Hawkeye Ten Conference Honors: Brett Sears, sr. (Unanimous First Team); Connor Bruck, jr. (Unanimous First Team); Luke Schaben, sr. (First Team); Jon Owens, sr. (Second Team); Joey Moser, fr. (Second Team); Derec Weyer, sr. (Honorable Mention).
Team Roster (Grades 8-12)
Seniors: Connor Bruck*, Kobe Livengood.
Juniors: Isaiah Ahrenholtz*, Brenden Bartley*, Thomas Ernst, Trey Gross*, Devin Kearney, Ben Muenchrath*, Wesley Muenchrath, Tyler Mumm, Chase Wilwerding.
Sophomores: Ashton Lyon, Alex Monson*, Joey Moser*, Luke Musich*, Brody Rowedder, Dominic Schaben, Brayton Schechinger, Blake West.
Freshmen: Ben Alberti, Cael Goshorn, Teagon Kasperbauer, Stephen Leinen, Sam Schmitz, Austin Schumacher.
8th Graders: Will Arkfeld, Gavin Bruck, Brehden Eggerss, Braydon Ernst, Stephen Fah, Anthony Fields, Tytan Frohlich, Quinn Koesters, Gage Neese, Franz Reisz, Keagen Ring, Caleb Schleis, Noah Schmitz, Cade Sears, Matt Sorfonden, Tegan Steinkuehler.
* denotes returning varsity letter winners.
Returning Varsity Stat Leaders
Batting Average: Connor Bruck .368, Joey Moser .349, Brenden Bartley .293, Isaiah Ahrenholtz .287.
Total Hits: C. Bruck 39, J. Moser 37, I. Ahrenholtz 31, B. Bartley 27.
Runs Scored: J. Moser 47 (led team), C. Bruck 35, I. Ahrenholtz 23, B. Bartley 20, Luke Musich 11.
Runs-Batted-In: C. Bruck 32, I. Ahrenholtz 26, B. Bartley 22, J. Moser 20.
Doubles: J. Moser 11, B. Bartley 9, C. Bruck 8, I. Ahrenholtz 7.
Home Runs: C. Bruck 1, B. Bartley 1.
Walks: C. Bruck 26, J. Moser 25, B. Bartley 21, I. Ahrenholtz 15.
Stolen Bases: J. Moser 24 (led team), C. Bruck 20, B. Bartley 12.
On-Base Percentage: C. Bruck .511, J. Moser .486, B. Bartley .424, I. Ahrenholtz .380, L. Musich .345.
Pitching W-L Record: C. Bruck 8-0 (led team), J. Moser 3-0, Trey Gross 3-0.
Innings Pitched: C. Bruck 57.7 (led team), J. Moser 21.0, T. Gross 17.3.
Earned Run Average: C. Bruck 1.21, J. Moser 3.00, T. Gross 3.63.
WHIP: C. Bruck 0.78 (led team), J. Moser 1.57, T. Gross 1.96.
Strikeouts: C. Bruck 63, J. Moser 16, T. Gross 15.
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