DCTC One Win Short of NJCAA National Tournament

Blue Knights lose to Ridgewater Warriors in regional championship game.

The Blue Knights lost to Ridgewater College 16-11 in the NJCAA Region XIII championship game on May 12 in Willmar, Minn. The Knights ended the 2008 season with an overall record of 31-16.

In a wild game highlighted by big innings for both teams, the Knights committed seven errors, including three in the fourth inning and two in the fifth. The errors allowed the Warriors to score six runs in each inning. Only six of Ridgewater’s 16 runs were earned.

Each team had several chances to score throughout the game. DCTC stranded 12 runners on base with Ridgewater coming close with 11.

“We had runners in scoring position in all but two innings,” stated Coach Tim Huber. “We just couldn’t get the big hit like we had throughout playoffs. During the course of the game, DCTC hitters struck out looking six times, getting 13 times overall.”

Offensively, the Knights were led by Chase Brown, who went 4 for 5 in the contest. Chase batted .500 during the playoff run, going 17 for 34 with 11 RBIs.

Evan Lucius went  2 for 3 with a two-run home run in the first inning. During the postseason, Lucius hit 13 for 26, posting a .500 average with five doubles, one homer and eight RBIs in the eight-game stretch.

Ryan Valdez went 2 for 4 at the plate during the Ridgewater game. He had a good postseason, batting .455 with 10 hits in 22 at bats. Will Dahlgren finished with one hit in four trips to the plate, but drove in two runs and finished the playoffs hitting safely in every game. He batted .552 with 16 hits in 29 at bats plus 12 RBIs.

Marcus Fitzgerald led the team with four home runs and 13 RBIs during the postseason.

“There is a reason Ridgewater is the second-ranked team in the nation,” said Coach Huber. “I give them a lot of credit. They have a good team and I’m sure will do well at the NJCAA Division III World Series in Tyler, Texas.”

“We had a great year with a good group of guys that played really hard,” Huber added. “Thirty-one wins is nothing to be disappointed about. We were one game away from going all the way—and proved we were one of the best teams in the nation this year.”