The Oskaloosa Hurricanes 12U USSSA baseball team captured third place at the Diamond Classic NIT tournament in Des Moines this past weekend.
The Hurricanes posted victories in four of five games competing against a strong field of 22 teams from across Iowa and Nebraska.
The Hurricanes got off to a quick start in their first pool game on Saturday with a 12–3 win against the Kingston Skyhawks from Omaha.
Hogan Rockhold and Connor Reed combined to limit the Skyhawks to four hits and only one earned run. Nikolas Dykstra had three hits, with Jackson Blythe, Rian Yates, and Reed putting up two hits apiece. Casey Hill and Rockhold also contributed base hits.
The West Des Moines Defenders provided Oskaloosa with a tough test in the second pool game. After squandering an early lead, the Hurricanes rallied for a 6-5 victory. Yates dropped a late-inning single into right field driving in the tying and winning runs. Cole Kraber had two hits including a double, with Lucas Bunnell and Austin Hafner each collecting base hits. Reed, Yates, Kraber and Bunnell patched together for the win from the mound.
Oskaloosa took the No. 3 seed into bracket play action on Sunday facing the Legends from Fort Dodge. The Hurricanes jumped out to a quick lea,d scoring five runs in the first frame, and never looked back in a 9–1 run-rule victory. Kraber led the way offensively with two hits, and Dykstra had a two-run double. Base hits by Reed, Rockhold and Yates completed the offense, while Rockhold and Bunnell combined to hold the Legends to only one run in four innings.
Things took an ugly turn for the Hurricanes in the semifinal contest against eventual tournament champion Baker Baseball. Baker combined timely hitting with great defense to shut down the title hopes for Oskaloosa. Although the Hurricanes put the ball in play consistently they were limited to two hits, a double by Dykstra and a single by Blythe, in the 9–1 defeat. Yates took the loss allowing five runs in three innings, with Kraber finishing up the last two innings on the hill.
Oskaloosa showed no ill effects from the disappointing semifinal loss in cruising to a 9–1 consolation game victory over the Omaha Stampede. Reed threw very well for the complete-game win, and Yates had two hits including a double. Kraber, Blythe, Reed, Dykstra, Hill, Rockhold, Hafner and Colton Jones all had base hits for the Hurricanes.
Oskaloosa is back in action this weekend taking a 15-10 record into the Summer Slam at Davenport. The Hurricanes will then wrap up their inaugural season June 28-30 competing against 50 teams at the 12U State Tournament in Des Moines.