By Jon Swisher-Sports Director:
The two-time defending third-ranked Beckman Baseball team, who has appeared in 11 title games winning five and has six second-place finishes, leads the class 2A field which opens up play this afternoon at Principal Park in Des Moines. North Polk is the top-rated squad and has been the runner-up to Beckman each of the past two seasons. The Blazers are making their 16th trip to the tourney, they enter the week with a 27-13 mark and the 2nd seed. Beckman coach Tom Jenk Jr. is number five on the Iowa all time coaches’ win list as he starts this year’s tournament with a career mark of 1,007-460. One of five Iowa coaches with 1,000 or more career wins, he ranks seventh nationally and needs two more victories to move into sixth. This is his 15th state tourney team and his Blazers have appeared in 10 title games winning in 1986, 2000, 2012 and last summer. His clubs are 13-1 in opening round games, losing only in 2006 to Mid-Prairie, 8-7 in eight innings. Beckman’s 25-10 record in state tournament competition is the best in class 2A and ranks third among all classes. The Blazers will face unranked and seventh seeded 23-8 Hinton who is making their first appearance in the tournament after winning its last 11 games. First pitch slated for 6pm tonight with all the action starting with the pregame show here from KMCH Sports at 5:50pm on KMCH and KMCH.com with Sports Director Jon Swisher and Dan McClean.