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Derrion Hardie feels good about future of his Dakota State baseball program after loss to Bellevue in NSAA championship

Young and talented Trojans have baseball program headed in right direction
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 11:49 PM CDT
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FOREST CITY, IA (Dakota News Now) -The top two seeds in the North Star Athletic Association baseball battled in the postseason championship game Tuesday afternoon at Forest City High School Baseball Field. The Trojans, who came all the way from the loser’s bracket by winning four straight elimination games, played in its first-ever NSAA baseball postseason tournament’s championship game. The nationally ranked No. 7 Bellevue (Neb.) held off the Trojans 1-0 in a battle of pitcher’s duel by DSU’s JD Kirchner and BU’s McGrane Pledger.

Bellevue breezed through the North Star Athletic Association baseball postseason tournament and advanced to the championship game by run-ruling all three teams in eight innings or less – Presentation (S.D.), Waldorf (Iowa), and Dickinson State (N.D.). The Trojans were the only team that took the Bruins to the full nine-inning contest in the NSAA baseball postseason tournament.

Dakota State, who appeared in the conference tournament’s championship game for the first time since the 2012 season in the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) tournament in San Marcos, Calif., ended their season with an impressive 33-18 overall record. They recorded its most victories since 2007 when DSU set a program history 39 wins.

DSU also set its best winning percentage with .647 since 2007 who posted a winning percentage of .765.

Bellevue lifted their overall record to 45-10 and wait to hear who they will host for the NAIA Baseball National Tournament Opening Round on May 16-19 in Bellevue, Neb.

(7) Bellevue (Neb.) 1, Dakota State (S.D.) 0 – FINAL

  • The lone run came in the bottom half of the third inning for Bellevue. Kanta Kobayashi led off by being hit-by-pitch. He advanced to second base after a wild pitch by the Trojans. Another wild pitch by DSU allowed Kobayashi advance to third base with one out.
  • Alec Ackerman hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Kobayashi as the Bruins earned a 1-0 lead with two outs in the bottom third.
  • Dakota State was unable to score in the top fourth inning, despite leaving a runner on third base. Ryan McDaniel led off with a walk. He advanced to second base after Noah Angstadt’s single.
  • Kameron Bryant hit a fly out to advance McDaniel to third base in the top fourth. The Bruins’ defense halted the Trojans from scoring as they ended the top fourth with a double play.
  • Josh Van Beek drilled a lead-off double in the top sixth inning for the Trojans. Pledger went to retire the next three batters as Trojans could not convert their scoring chances.
  • Dakota State could not score in the final inning as Pledger retired the final three batters as Bellevue secured the victory.
  • The Bruins tallied seven hits in the game compared to the Trojans three hits. BU left 10 runners on base while the Trojans had three runners left on base.
  • Van Beek recorded a double for Dakota State. Angstadt and Pribyl each added a single. McDaniel and Walker Hultgren each recorded a walk.
  • Josh Vaughn and Kobayashi each led Bellevue with two singles. Conner Barnett, Alex Stufft, and Mathieu Sirois each added a hit. Ackerman produced an RBI.
  • Kirchner, who made his third appearance in the NSAA postseason tournament since May 6, took the setback despite tossing a complete game. He yielded the Bruins to one run on seven hits. He struck out four BU’s batters.
  • Dakota State posted its best-earned run average (5.20) since 2014 where the Trojans produced an ERA of 4.73.
  • Pledger (W, 9-3) earned a complete game victory for Bellevue. He gave up three hits and three walks. He registered six strikeouts.

Dakota State school records

  • Below are the single season school records set by Dakota State this season:
  • Team – 445 strikeouts (pitching) (previous record – 310 strikeouts in 2010)
  • Team – 394 1/3 innings (pitching) (previous record – 392 1/3 innings in 2012)
  • Team – 11 saves (pitching) (previous record – 10 saves in 2008)
  • Team – 1669 at-bats (previous record – 1614 at-bats in 2012)
  • Team – 375 runs (previous record – 315 runs in 2007)
  • Team – 517 hits (previous record – 480 hits in 2007)
  • Team – 125 doubles (previous record – 90 doubles in 2021)
  • Team – 48 home runs (tied for most home runs with 2012 squad)
  • Team – 327 RBIs (previous record – 273 RBIs in 2012)
  • Team – 802 total bases (previous record – 682 total bases in 2012)
  • Team – 1181 put-outs (previous record 1177 put-outs in 2012)
  • Mason Macaluso – 191 at-bats (tied 1st – Anyelo Roman – 2012)
  • Mason Macaluso – 73 hits (previous record held by Anyelo Roman with 70 hits in 2012)
  • Mason Macaluso – 132 total bases (2nd most total bases)
  • Kameron Bryant – 105 total bases (3rd most total bases)
  • Kameron Bryant – 19 doubles (previous record held by Shea Tonkin – 17 doubles – 2007)
  • Mason Macaluso, Ryan McDaniel – 18 doubles (tied second most doubles)
  • Walker Hultgren – 17 doubles (tied third most doubles with Tonkin)
  • Mason Macaluso – 13 home runs (tied second most home runs – Jason Hershfield – 2012)
  • Mason Macaluso – 63 RBIs (previous record held by Anyelo Roman – 55 RBIs – 2012)
  • Mason Macaluso - .382 batting average (7th best batting average)
  • Will Clair – 71 strikeouts (pitching) (3rd most strikeouts – pitching)
  • Mitsuki Shimonishi – 70 strikeouts (pitching) (4th most strikeouts – pitching)
  • JD Kirchner – 69 strikeouts (pitching (tied 5th most strikeouts – pitching – Lincoln Gassman – 2010)
  • Below are the career school record set by Dakota State:
  • Ryan McDaniel (sophomore) – 33 doubles (tied for most doubles – Shea Tonkin – 2005-07)
  • Mason Macaluso (sophomore) – 19 home runs (tied for second home runs – Ian Barker – 2014-16)
  • Mason Macaluso (sophomore) – 96 RBIs (second most RBIs)

Recap courtesy Dakota State Athletics

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