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July 11, 2023

Ames Baseball One Win Away From State

With an 11-2 victory over Fort Dodge on Monday, the Little Cyclones (28-13) have a matchup with No. 1 Ankeny Centennial (30-7) on Wednesday to see which central Iowa school will represent Class 4A Substate No. 1 in Duane Banks Field in Iowa City.

Ames, who is second in all classes with 382 runs tallied, responded quickly to Fort Dodge’s one run tallied in the top of the first with six of their own in the bottom half of the first inning and another pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning.

“Tonight’s victory is about a group of very determined young men that have had success all year,” head coach Nick Steenhagen said. “We talked a lot the last couple days making sure we have elite preparation. I think Friday (1-0 victory in 10 innings over Waterloo East) got away from us a little bit in terms of worrying about who our opponent was.”

Northwestern College (IA) signee Braydon Beelner pitched a complete game and struck out two Dodgers and allowed just six hits.

“I saw a lot more focus tonight in terms of being more relaxed and having a plan,” Steenhagen said.

Despite allowing a Dodger run in the top of the third, the Little Cyclone defense held strong with a pair of double plays in the third and the sixth innings.

Ames added their three insurance runs in the fourth (one) and sixth innings (two). The Little Cyclones outhit FDSH 11-7, and were aided in committing three fewer errors (5-2).

Attack, Legacy, Toughness

On the dugout, the words “Attack, Legacy, Toughness” can be found.

Coach Steenhagen explains, “Attack is about making sure everything we do is 100 miles per hour and we go after it. Our legacy is that we’re trying to build here is, yeah we want to keep playing and winning but it’s really about setting this program up for sustained success. This is just being gritty and just being about finding ways to score and doing it together in a way that it doesn’t matter what the the other team does, but we’re going to do what we got to do to win.”

28 Wins

Just like the 1989 team, these Little Cyclones have won 28 games and this is the only instance since then for an Ames baseball team to tally 28 victories. Unlike the 1989 team who fell 4-3 to Fort Dodge, this team is using the fuel and team ball to give them a mental momentum against the Jaguars tomorrow.

“It’s a little surreal to be honest,” Steenhagen said. “It comes down to the work these guys have done. They’ve been hitting since October, two or three nights a week together. It’s been a year long process since we lost last year and these guys are truly a solid baseball group. It’s great for our town and our school, so I’m really happy and grateful to be part of it.”

Ames High Pride

Since #AmesHighPride was tweeted for the first time over 10 years ago, this message is still what we use today to celebrate those that wear the orange and black with Loyalty.

From the two baseball players that were drafted in the MLB Draft in the late 1980s to other graduates making a name for themselves, Ames High Pride is forever.

“I think tradition, I think about about the hundreds of athletes that have come through here, I think about the championships we’ve had,” Steenhagen said. “I think about all the programs we offer from orchestra to foreign language to plays. There’s so many amazing kids that go to this school, and teachers and administrators. Everything changes, but over time institutional memory is something that is really special to be part of.”

View photos from the game.