Blue Knights #9 in latest NJCAA Div. III poll
After a strong start at the 2009 RussMatt Central Florida Invitational in early March, DCTC Blue Knights baseball remains ranked #9 in the NJCAA Division III national poll. Formidable hitting and steady pitching have helped up the team’s record to 21–11.
On a road trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, March 20 and 21, the Knights lost three out of four to the Kirkwood Community College Eagles, an elite NJCAA Div. II team. In DCTC’s lone 8–6 success, pitching ace Luke Anderson got credit for the win. Joe Lucas landed the save. Designated hitter Jared Nihart banked a three-run homer.
A week later in Elko, Minn., March 29, DCTC rolled over the Central Lakes Community College Raiders. Pitcher Ryan Rodeck won the first game of the doubleheader, allowing only two runs in the 13–2 landslide. Centerfielder Alex Mack got three hits, including a double, scoring four runs and stealing four bases.
In the second game, Luke Anderson allowed only three hits in five innings in the 6–0 shutout, earning the win. Designated hitter Dillon Powell knocked in 2 runs on two hits.
Playing away in Estherville, Iowa, the Knights split a doubleheader against the Iowa Lakes Community College Lakers. DCTC won the first game 10–7 with Brad Lawson getting the win and Matt Zidar the save. Jared Nihart hit a two-run single and a solo homer. The Knights dropped the second game 5–11.
At the Minnesota Crossover in Elko, Minn., April 3, DCTC swept the Ridgewater Community College Warriors, 5–3 and 5–0. In the first game, Luke Anderson permitted two hits in five innings, remaining unbeaten. Playing right field, Dillon Powell slapped three singles in four at bats.
In the shutout, Ryan Rodeck turned in sterling performance, allowing only two hits in seven innings. Rodeck gave up one walk and struck out nine batters.
The next day, DCTC split with the Minnesota State Community and Technical College Spartans, running away with the first game 13–3, but dropping a close one 2–3 in second half of the doubleheader. Jeremy Kruse got the win. Dillon Powell and Evan Lucius each belted in three RBIs. Alex Mack singled and homered, scoring four times.
Traveling to Austin, Minn., April 10, the Knights ended up dividing four games with the Riverland Community College Blue Devils, triumphing twice 7–4 and 7–1, but also losing twice 3–4 and 4–7.
Moving on, the Knights next took another two games from the Central Lakes Community College Raiders in Brainerd, Minn., April 15, 11–4 and 14–3.
As of April 12, Dan Noyola is leading the team with a .414 batting average with 12 hits in 29 at bats. Ben Briesacher has a team-leading 33 hits in 91 at bats, batting .363. He also has a team-leading 28 RBIs. Dillon Powell, Evan Lucius, Marcus Fitzgerald and Alex Mack are all batting over .320 with Lucius leading the team with 10 doubles.
Pitcher Luke Anderson is 5–0 with 2.18 ERA. Ryan Rodeck is 4–2 with a 2.29 ERA and a team-leading 38 strikeouts.
For complete box scores, play-by-play and line scores, click the game score under the results column of the Go Blue Knights Baseball Schedule & Results page. For complete team statistics, check out the Quick Links menu.
The Blue Knights next face the Rochester Community and Technical College Yellow Jackets, in a four-game series. The first doubleheader is in Rochester, Saturday, April 18, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The second is at Alimagnet Park in Burnsville, Minn., Sunday, April 19, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.