Blue Knights Pitcher Hurls Perfect Game, DCTC Baseball Wins Three Of Four At Metrodome

In what turned out to be the most successful four-game tournament in Blue Knights baseball history, DCTC won three of four games at the Metrodome in Minneapolis on March 24 and 25.

On a day that featured a perfect pitching performance by Blue Knight Mike Spurling (the game was called due to the 10-run rule after five innings), DCTC handed two losses to a fledgling St. Cloud Technical College squad, winning 10-0 and 15-6.

According to Blue Knights Head Coach Tim Huber, all but one DCTC starter recorded at least one hit during the first game. DCTC’s Alex Smith and Dale Stein recorded two hits each, and Steve Kleppen hammered a two-run home run over the right field baggie.

“The real story of this game was the outstanding pitching performance of Spurling,” Huber said. “Spurling held St. Cloud hitless over five innings of work and also gave up zero walks. Mike’s perfect game is the first in the history of the Blue Knights program.”

In addition, Spurling struck out six batters along the way and improved his record to 2-1 on the young season.

Things did not get easier for St. Cloud Technical in the second game of the doubleheader. DCTC scored three in the first inning behind the hitting performance of Charles Stene, who went 3 for 5 with six RBI. Kleppen also took care of business, clubbing out three hits, two RBI and four runs. Alex Smith collected three hits and Ryan Van Dusen added two doubles for DCTC. As a whole, the Blue Knights recorded 15 runs on 16 hits, including five doubles and a triple.

Tony Rome came on in relief of Nate Jackson to get the win. DCTC’s winning ways continued on Friday morning with a 8-5 victory over the nationally ranked College of DuPage (Ill.). Starting the day at #13 in the National Junior College Athletics Association poll, DuPage was outmatched by the Blue Knights in the first game of their doubleheader.

“We proved we are capable of beating very good competition,” Huber said after the game.

While on the mound, Kleppen struggled early with his control, walking five batters in the first three innings, before settling down and striking out six batters to get his first win of the season. Matt Mogan then came on in relief and threw two scoreless innings to record the save.

Offensively, Van Dusen clobbered a two-run RBI single in the third inning and Spurling drilled a two-run ground rule double in the fifth to give the Knights the lead for good. Jackson added two base hits in the game. DCTC simply ran out of steam in the second game of the morning doubleheader, losing 15-0.

Overall, Huber was incredibly pleased with the outcome of the two-day series at the Metrodome. “This was a very good two days of baseball for us,” he said. “With the exception of the last game against DuPage, we played excellent baseball. Any time we can get three wins in four games, I will be happy.”

“We jumped on St Cloud and never looked back,” Huber added. “It was nice to see us hit the ball the way we did against them. Beating a team like DuPage, which has had a very successful program for several years and is ranked, goes to show we can play with anyone if we give our best effort.”

Next up for the Blue Knights is Iowa Lakes Community College for a doubleheader on March 29 in Estherville, Iowa.

“They were 33-23 last year and will be another good early season test,” Huber said. The Blue Knights play their first home game next weekend in Rosemount on Saturday, April 2 when they take on Mesabi Community College at Rosemount High School. Game times are 1 and 3 p.m.