RATED & ADVANCING: Just three teams in the Final Top 10 of the rankings have survived the pre-state elimination series. Making the Elite Eight this year are second-rated Harlan, fifth-rated Pella and seventh-rated Carlisle.
RETURNEES FROM 2015: Three teams from the 2015 tourney field return. Included in the trio are former champions Harlan (1996 and 2003), who is making its 16th appearance and their sixth straight trip to The Show. The Cyclones are joined by six-time qualifier Wahlert Catholic and Pella, a three-time qualifier who was runner-up in 1997.
OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS: In addition to Harlan, three other qualifiers this year have won state titles. They include another 16-time qualifier Bishop Heelan Catholic, who won in 2001 and 2005; eight-time qualifier Carlisle, who took the 2003 2A crown; and six-time qualifier Solon, who won titles in 2010 (2A) and 2011 (3A).
HIGH WIN COACHES: Three coaches sport solid career win-loss records, led by Harlan boss Steve Daeges who starts the tournament with a 606-206 mark. This is the 14th time he has ushered Harlan to the state tourney. Solon’s Keith McSweeney enters the meet with a 436-232 record. Bishop Heelan coach Andy Osborne is 266-196.
CURRENT WIN STREAKS: Humboldt enters state action with an 11-game win streak and has won 19 of its last 20. Top-seeded Wahlert has won seven of its last eight since splitting with top-rated 4A power Cedar Rapids Prairie. Pella enters the final playoffs with an eight-game win streak, while Carlisle has chalked up wins in 12 of its last 13 including the last six in succession. Harlan has won 13 of its last 14 contests.
STATE COACHING DEBUT: Three coaches will make their state tournament debut. The newcomers include Carlisle’s Blake Heitmeier and Central DeWitt’s Shane Sikkema. Wahlert mentor Kory Tuescher has been a co-head coach previously with Jerry Roling but this is his first state club.
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.
HIATUSES: Of the eight teams in the tourney fold, Humboldt has snapped an 11-year hiatus. The Wildcats were last in the 2005 meet. Central DeWitt and Carlisle are returning for the first time since 2010.
ENROLLMENTS: The IHSAA uses the official state certified BEDS enrollment figures for grades 9 thru 11 for the 2014-15 school year for placement of a school in a particular class. Pella is the largest school in the field with an enrollment of 520 students, while Solon is the smallest with 314.
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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