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SATURDAY REPLAY | SUBSTATE BASEBALL

Back-to-back homers give DNH win over Grundy Center 4-3

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Trailing in the bottom of the sixth, the Wolverines got back-to-back home runs from juniors Gus Varney and Nick Reinicke that pushed DNH over the top and bring the Spartans’ season to a close.

“I just think that the guys swing hard and when they find their pitch, they really drive on it,” Dike-New Hartford coach Jordan Martin said. “All season long, we’ve been power hitters and we just stepped it up a little bit more today.”

Reinicke was also the one to put the Wolverines on the board with a solo home run in the second inning. Another run in the third inning by senior Devon Kollasch helped them widen their lead 2-0. In addition to being their catcher, Reinicke has proven himself to be an effective cleanup hitter for the Wolverines, saying the position has enhanced his offensive output.

“I’m seeing pitches constantly the whole game, so it helps to be able to pick up pitches better,” Reinicke said. “I think it helps me a lot, honestly.”

BBall DNH vs. Grundy Center 14

Dike-New Hartford junior Gus Varney celebrates with freshman Carson Costello after the Wolverines record the final out against Grundy Center during the Class 2A semifinal at Dike on Saturday.

However, the Wolverines didn’t have long to celebrate their lead, as sophomore Colin Gordon pounded in two runs with a double, instantly tying the game at the top of the fourth, another RBI by Pat Brown III put the Spartans in the lead in the fifth.

Now down 3-2 with one out in the sixth inning, Varney stepped into the box and hit a solo home run to tie the game back up. Reinicke then stepped in for his second homer of the evening.

BBall DNH vs. Grundy Center 5

Grundy Center sophomore Tate Jirovsky catches a throw to first as Dike-New Hartford sophomore Cole McCumber gets to the bag safely during the Class 2A semifinal at Dike on Saturday.

“I mean, Gus hitting it over there ties it up, that takes a lot of pressure off me, because obviously, you’ve got to scrape across one run to keep it tied and keep the game alive,” he said. “But he took a lot of pressure off me. And honestly, I was just trying to get a base hit, and I got a hold of one and it ended up going over.”

Also pitching relief, Varney held the line through the final two innings, giving them the win.

Despite this the end of its run, Grundy Center head coach Pat Brown said that he was proud of his team. The Spartans often punched above their weight class and came within inches of beating the favored Wolverines, and still came out with their best season in nearly 30 years.

“We’re just a small, two-stoplight town in the middle of a cornfield, and these kids can play baseball,” Brown said. “They came to play baseball, and I think they built our stock up throughout the state.”

DNH 4, Grundy Center 3

Grundy Center 000 210 0 – 3 10 1

Dike-New Hartford 011 002 X – 4 6 0

Sawyer and Brown. Costello, Varney (6) and Reinicke. 2B – GC: Gordon. Brown. 2B – DNH: Kollasch. HR: Reinicke 2, Varney.

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