Who: Pella (9-10) vs Centerville (10-3)
What: Class 3A - Substate 6 - Quarterfinal
When: Friday, July 17 at 7 p.m.
Centerville holds a 12-7 series advantage over Pella since 2009. Oddly enough, it’s been a streaky series since then. Centerville won five in a row, followed by three in a row by Pella, four in a row by Centerville, four in a row by Pella and now three in a row by Centerville. The Big Reds defeated the Dutch 13-12 in a shootout earlier this season.
One key player for Pella
It could be one player but in this case it will be a position. Whoever Pella goes with on the mound will be the key player. That may be Tanner Dunsbergen (2-1, 1.73), Jason Knox (1-4, 2.03 ERA) or Keagan Miedema (1-1, 2.75 ERA). All three have started five games for the Dutch this year and have seen success. One or maybe all three of them will be tasked at slowing down one of the better offenses in the class in Centerville, who averages 9.2 runs per game. Pella got a taste of how quick they can turn it on as Pella led Centerville 10-0 through four innings in their game earlier this season. The Big Reds would score 13 unanswered runs in that game to come back and beat the Dutch. Pella will need its pitchers to be sharp to every batter and avoid giving up free bases as Centerville and turn those into runs really quick in their big ballpark that they share with Indian Hills Community College.
Keys for Pella
Defense. As mentioned, Centerville’s offense poses a threat in multiple ways. They hit, they take their walks, they steal once they’re on base and they’re will to lay down a bunt or get a sacrifice fly to score a run. Pella’s pitching and defense will need to be sharp in order to avoid making this another high-scoring game. Pella’s bats proved they can hit off of Centerville’s pitchers, they need to bring that same confidence into this game in order to knock off the Big Reds, who have qualified for state in three state years, including a Class 2A title in 2018.