DES MOINES — Maybe it should have kept raining. Ah, that would have just delayed the inevitable.
Decorah’s run the second half of the prep baseball season was ended by a team that was out and out better, certainly last night. Few doubts about Dallas Center-Grimes being the top team in Class 3A after a 13-0 championship game romp at Principal Park.
The start was held up briefly by rain. It’s the first state title for DC-G, which finished 36-2 and winners of 23 straight to end a season in which it lost only to 4A teams Johnston and Waukee.
“We played well today, and it showed,” said DC-G pitcher Tyler Peyton.
You felt bad for a Decorah club that won 16 of 17 just to get to this game for the first time since 1992. No sentimental victories this time, as legendary coach Dennis Olejniczak will have to wait for his 50th season at the school to try and win another championship.
Decorah’s got a lot of really good ballplayers returning in 2013.
“The good thing is we’ll be playing baseball again next year,” Olejniczak said. “We’ll be right back trying to get better. What we’ve done is history … We’ll be right back trying to get back here.”
Peyton and his mid-80s fastball were too much for Decorah’s offense, as the Vikings were limited to four singles and struck out 13 times. As if he needed it, Peyton got a lot of help offensively, as DC-G had 15 hits, at least one from every starter.
The Mustangs scored twice each against Decorah starter Blake Moen in the third and fourth and put it way out of reach with a four-run fifth. Two errors on shortstop Jacob Kvale made the third-inning runs unearned.
“We knew they were a good ball team. They’d only lost two games,” Moen said. “We knew that we were going to have to play very good defense, we were going to have to hit the ball and pitching wise we were going to have to be sharp.”
“We just didn’t have any part of our game that we were sharp in,” Olejniczak said.
There seemed to be some tension between the teams by the end of the game, with Decorah not caring for a DC-G baserunner attempting a steal of second in an 8-0 game in the fifth. Olejniczak and DC-G Coach Byron Peyton shook hands briefly postgame but did not talk to each other.
“I felt like there was a little excessiveness when they tried to steal when they were ahead eight,” Decorah’s Josey Jewell said. “It’s kind of an (unwritten rule) in baseball. Coach O knows. It’s kind of stupid to do that. Not classy at all. But they do what they do.”
Here is the game boxscore: