RATED & ADVANCING: Only two of the final Top Ten ranked teams survived the pre-state tourney trek. Defending champion and second-ranked Clear Lake (28-7) and seventh-ranked Hinton (23-5) have qualified. This is the fifth trip for two-time title bearers Clear Lake, and Hinton has advanced for the third straight year.
RETURNING FROM 2015: Clear Lake and Hinton are the only qualifiers from last year’s 2A field. The Lions have logged a 7-2 state slate. The former 3A team joined 2A a year ago. The Blackhawks have made the select field for the third straight year and are seeking their first state tournament win.
FIRST-TIME STATE COACHES: Making their state tournament debut are Denver coach Dustin Rewerts and Collins-Maxwell/Baxter coach Max Seeman.
FORMER CHAMPIONS: In addition to Clear Lake (2013 -3A and 2015), other teams with state championships include Beckman Catholic (1968, 1986-3A, 2000, 2012, 2013).
UP FROM CLASS 1A: Van Buren and Pleasantville were Class 1A qualifiers a year ago and return this year in Class 2A. Van Buren was the 1A runner up in 2013 while Pleasantville fell to Newman Catholic in last summer’s 1A title game. Van Buren was bumped into 2A with the addition of Harmony, a three-time qualifier (1995, 1996, 1999).
TOP WIN COACHES: Tom Jenk Jr., one of five Iowa coaches with 1,000 or more wins, has his 16th state team, all at Beckman and brings a 1,056-495 career record (fourth all-time) to the tournament. Clear Lake’s Seth Thompson and Pleasantville’s Sheldon Card have reached the 300-win plateau. Thompson brings a career record of 300-141 to Des Moines, while Card is 310-181. Two other mentors have 200 or more career wins. Chad Scott of Van Buren is currently 225-34 (.869 win percentage) and Kuemper Catholic’s Randy Snyder enters with a 200-90 career slate.
BEST WIN CHAINS: Van Buren brings a six-game win streak to the tournament with 17 wins in its last 19 games. Pleasantville is on a four-game win streak and has won 16 of its last 17. Hinton has won 9 of its last 10 and has a five-game win streak. Denver rolls into Des Moines with four straight wins including ousting 10th-ranked Dike-New Hartford and third-ranked New Hampton. Kuemper has recorded 12 wins in its last 13 games.
PRICE OF SUCCESS: Some teams played opponents in classes 3A and 4A during the season and it impacted their win-loss record. Beckman is a prime example, having played Class 3A and Class 4A teams 16 times each. Kuemper is 10-8 against 3A and 4A teams.
THE TOURNAMENT: This is the 71st season for the state summer baseball, which has been in four classes since 1981. It is also the 89th state tournament series for the sport that started in the spring of 1928. This is the 12th year for the four-class tournament at Principal Park. In the previous 11 years at Principal Park 342,063 fans have supported their teams. Attendance since 1997 is at 489,510 going into this year’s games.
ENROLLMENTS: To determine the classification of each school, the IHSAA uses the official state certified BEDS enrollment figures for grades 9 thru 11 for the 2014-15 school year. The smallest Class 2A qualifier is Hinton with 168 students, and the largest in the class is Clear Lake with 283.
Team and individual stat leaders are at QuikStats Iowa
Fans and coaches can go to the Baseball QuikStats page and find the tab that says “2016 State Baseball.” Click on that and select the class you want, then select “Load List” and team stats for the state qualifiers will be displayed. To view individual stats, click on individual season stats, select the class you want to view in the “2016 State” tab, then hit load list and all individual stats for the eight tournament teams or individuals will be displayed. You can sort that list by clicking on the stat category of hitting — hits, avg, rbis, etc, pitching or fielding.
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