Knights Conclude Season In State Finals

The Dakota County Technical College Blue Knights baseball team finished up the best season of its young history last weekend with a 19-20-1 record. DCTC was defeated by Fergus Falls 5-2, in a competitive match against the team that would go on to win the title. Last year’s team only compiled five wins on the season, making it clear the Blue Knights have evolved into a force to be reckoned with.

Standout Blue Knights pitcher Mike Spurling drew the start on the mound and pitched a great game holding Fergus Falls to three earned runs on five hits. Spurling struck out eight hitters and walked two.

A Blue Knights error in the fourth led to two unearned runs in what would make the difference for the game.

The Knights fared better in their second tournament game, defeating Northland Community College 3-2. Alex Miller pitched a great game and held Northland hitters to two runs on five hits while striking out eight and walking two.

Dale Stein continued his hot hitting going 2-3 with 2 doubles, the first being a big hit in the second, which drove in two runs. Keith Engstrand also had a 2-3 game, and Nate Jackson drove in the other run with an RBI single in the third.

The Knights’ fortunes faded in the third game against Central Lakes Community College with a 7-3 loss. Offensively, the Knights pounded out 11 hits in the game including four doubles and one triple. Scott Werner, Jackson (two doubles, two RBI), Stein (one double), and Miller each collected two hits in the game.

Northland had only seven hits, but bunched four of them together along with two DCTC errors in the fourth to score four and secure a victory. Tony Rome pitched a solid four innings, and Jackson came on in relief and struck out four hitters in two innings.

“This year was a good start to building a very good program here at DCTC,” said first-year coach Tim Huber. “The guys really battled this year. We weren’t always the best team on the field but we found a way to beat some very good teams.”

Some of the Knights’ wins against quality competition included victories over Sussex CC (New Jersey), Lakeland CC (Ohio), DuPage CC (Illinois), and Ridgewater CC.

The team’s 8-8 league record in the Minnesota Community College Conference (MCCC) south division qualified the Blue Knights for their first-ever State Tournament appearance.

“I felt like we had the strongest division in the MCCC and held our own throughout the year,” Huber added. “This is something to build on going into next year. I am very happy with how my first year went at DCTC and am already looking forward to getting started next fall.”

“I would like to thank sophomores Steve Kleppen, Nate Jackson, Alex Miller, Tony Rome, Mike Latz, and David Wallner for a good year and wish them the best of luck.”


Pitching Hitting
Earned Run Average:
2.84 Alex Miller
3.09 Mike Spurling
Batting Average:
.378 Steve Kleppen
.354 Alex Smith
.349 Nate Jackson
W-L Record:
6-3 Mike Spurling
5-1 Alex Miller
12 Steve Kleppen
7 Dale Stein
71 Mike Spurling
35 Alex Miller
34 Tony Rome
3 Ryan Van Dusen
Batting Avg Against
.198 Alex Miller
.210 Mike Spurling
Home Runs:
3 Steve Kleppen
3 Ben Neibaur
63 1/3 Mike Spurling
34 1/3 Tony Rome
32 Alex Miller
Stolen Bases:
9 Ryan Van Dusen
8 Alex Smith
2 Matt Mogan
1 Tony Rome
Runs Batted In:
21 Nate Jackson
21 Charles Stene