PELLA — The Pella Dutch lost the lead early and were never be able to get the bats going as Bondurant-Farrar won Friday's district opener with a 2-1 nail-biter.
Both sides brought quality pitching, but the Bluejays had just a little more success on the mound. Holden Mcintosh started the game on the mound for them allowing one run on five hits over six and two-thirds innings. He recorded eight strikeouts on the night.
Pella started the game with Jason Knox on the mound as he pitched four and a third innings before Mason Wittmer came in for relief. Knox gave up two runs on three hits while adding in six strikeouts in the game.
The Bluejays scored a run in the first inning off a throwing error by the shortstop that allowed the runner from second base to score. The game continued to be rather quiet scoring wise until the top of the fifth inning when Bondurant scored another run on a single to center field that scored a runner from second base.
Pella with the no-quit attitude would not go down without a fight to end the game. In the bottom of the 6th inning Pella managed to load up the bases off singles by Knox, Ryan Mace, and Cody Hillman. Nick DeJong hit a ball out to right field that allowed Hillman to score on a sacrifice fly out. The Dutch would only score one run off the bases loaded as the opposing crowd celebrated in big fashion after Mcintosh was able to strikeout the last batter of the inning in one of the bigger moments of the game with Knox at third base and Mace at second base, leaving the runners stranded.
In the bottom of the seventh inning Pella would try and tie the game up as they got runners on second and first after a pair of walks. Jake Edenburn was called on for the last out of the game as the Bluejays tried to hold onto the lead. He struck out Knox to end the game and send the Bluejays into the next round of the playoffs.
Pella’s season would come to an unexpected end but they had a great year overall. The Dutch finished up with a 20-16 record as that was a bright spot for the program. They haven’t gotten to the 20 win mark in recent years which their coach Jesse Jablonski highlighted in a quote, “Overall, I felt this team took another big step forward this season as we continue to work toward a return to the state tournament. We had a 20-win season, and that's a number our program hasn't achieved in several years so our guys should be proud of that.”
Pella ended the season one game above .500 in conference play, and 20-16 overall. The pitching staff ended the year ranked near the top of the state in several categories (2nd in team ERA, 5th in K's, 10th in WHIP). Hitting wise Pella was also one of the top teams in the conference as they ranked 4th in Batting average, RBI’s, and hits on the season.
Coach Jablonski had this to say about his team and the seniors who will not be returning next season, “I want to thank our six seniors (Ryan Mace, Nick DeJong, Mason Wittmer, Josh Miller, Grant Humphrey, and Nathan Born) for everything they have done for this program. They have experienced a wide range of outcomes during their four years in the program, and they made it a priority to leave this program in a better place than when they arrived."