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Tigers enjoy rewarding 14-7 season

Adam Thompson, shown diving back to first base, led the Nevis baseball team with a .438 batting average, 35 runs scored and 31 stolen bases in earning Northland Conference honors. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

It was a successful season for the Nevis baseball team.

With only one senior in the starting lineup, the Tigers earned runner-up honors in the Northland Conference and the No. 4 seed for the Section 5A playoffs. Not even a loss in the playoff opener could diminish a successful 14-7 overall record.

The Tigers opened the season with a 14-1 conference win over Laporte before going 2-1 at the Park Rapids Wood Bat Tournament by following a 3-2 loss to Menahga with a 14-6 win over Staples-Motley and a 5-3 victory over Wheaton/Herman-Norcross.

Nevis defeated Northome-Kelliher 15-0 in a conference game, lost to Hill City 6-2, defeated Bagley 8-7 and Isle 10-3 to win the Nevis Tournament, and lost to Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 11-0 in another conference game for a 6-3 record.

A seven-game winning streak followed as the Tigers won conference games over Laporte (12-2), Red Lake (17-1), Pine River-Backus (6-4 and 15-13), Lake of the Woods (11-3) and Cass Lake (7-4). Nevis also defeated Sebeka 5-3.

A 16-2 loss to W-H-A ended that streak. Nevis ended the regular season with a 9-5 win over Menahga, a 13-7 conference loss to Blackduck and a 10-0 loss to Fosston.

W-H-A won the conference title with a 12-0 record while Nevis finished at 8-3. PR-B went 8-4, Blackduck finished at 7-5, LOW went 5-5 and Cass Lake finished at 6-7. Northome (4-7), Laporte (1-9) and Red Lake (0-11) rounded out the conference standings.

Nevis received the No. 4 seed in the West for the Section 5A tournament and was eliminated with a 15-9 loss to No. 5 Pillager, which went on to defeat W-H-A for the section title and a state berth.

"We had a fun and rewarding season at 14-7," said Nevis head coach Bill Dent. "We had some impressive wins over Staples, Bagley and Menahga and we finished second in the conference. Unfortunately, we lost our first playoff game to Pillager, which went on to the state tournament."

For the season, the Tigers hit .364 as a team and averaged 8.1 runs a game. The pitching staff finished with a 4.26 team ERA and allowed an average of 6.1 runs a game. Nevis' defense committed 91 errors that led to 48 unearned runs.

Leading the Tigers this season were senior Andrew Dudley; juniors Adam Thompson, Jack DeWulf, Sam Hitchcock, Tucker Roehl, Jack Landquist and Dillon McGee; sophomores Ben Soldwisch and Michael Landquist; and freshmen Luke DeWulf and Dan Mistic.

Thompson led the offense by hitting .438 (32 hits in 73 at bats) with a team-leading 35 runs scored and 31 stolen bases while driving in 12 runs in 21 games.

Luke DeWulf hit .435 (30 for 68) with 19 runs scored, 18 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 21 games.

Jack DeWulf also played in all 21 games and batted .407 (33 for 81) with 20 runs scored, 20 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

Hitchcock hit .385 (20 for 52) with 10 runs, 13 steals and eight RBI in 20 games.

Mistic played in 21 games and hit .354 (23 for 65) with 15 runs, eight steals and seven RBI.

Dudley hit .333 (21 for 63) in 20 games with a team-leading 22 RBI, nine runs and eight steals.

Roehl hit .324 (12 for 37) with 13 runs, seven stolen bases and six RBI in 16 games.

Jack Landquist played in all 21 games and batted .297 (19 for 64) with 10 runs, 14 RBI and six steals.

McGee played in 20 games and hit .283 (15 for 53) with seven runs, 10 RBI and five steals.

Michael Landquist saw action in 13 games and batted .280 (7 for 25) with seven runs, four RBI and five stolen bases.

Soldwisch played in 17 games, hitting .500 (4 for 8) with five runs and three RBI.

Jack DeWulf led the pitching staff by going 5-2 with a 3.43 ERA. In eight appearances (six as a starter), DeWulf allowed 29 runs (16 earned) on 37 hits and 29 walks with 40 strikeouts in 32.2 innings.

McGee went 2-2 with a 3.97 ERA in four starts and 10 appearances. In 24.2 innings, McGee gave up 27 runs (14 earned) on 21 hits and 18 walks while striking out 20.

Dudley finished with a 3-1 record and two saves in three starts and eight appearances. Dudley pitched 24 innings and allowed 17 runs (14 earned) on 25 hits and 14 walks with 24 strikeouts for a 4.08 ERA.

Thompson went 1-0 with two saves in eight relief appearances, allowing 18 runs (13 earned) on 25 hits and 11 walks with 27 strikeouts in 20 innings for a 4.55 ERA.

Luke DeWulf posted a 2-2 record and 5.51 ERA in five starts and six appearances, going 20.1 innings and issuing 21 runs (16 earned) on 27 hits and 16 walks with 16 strikeouts.

Roehl pitched 10 innings and had a 1-0 record and 5.60 ERA in six appearances, two as a starter. Roehl allowed 15 runs (eight earned) on 16 hits and 10 walks while striking out seven.

Dudley, Thompson, Jack DeWulf and Luke DeWulf earned all-conference honors while Jack Landquist and McGee were all-conference honorable mention selections. Team awards went to Dudley (MVP), Thompson (Mr. Baseball) and Michael Landquist (Rookie of the Year). Thompson, Jack DeWulf and Hitchcock will serve as captains next season.

Also seeing some varsity action this season were senior Dylan Hepokoski (five games); freshmen Shep Davis (14 games), Logan Funk (11 games), Wyatt Rech (five games), Ethan Tauber (five games) and Kolby Hamblin (two games); and eighth grader Derek Lindow (two games).

With the majority of his players returning, Dent is counting on another successful season from the Tigers next spring.

"We only graduate one starter, so we will return an experienced squad that should be very good. We also have some younger players that will give us extra depth," said Dent. "Our expectations are high for next season. Our goals will be to win the conference and contend for the section title."