Defending Class 2A champion Carlisle opens district play tonight against Pleasantville at Prairie City. Coach Dave Dirx says his team has struggled this season dealing with the spotlight of last year’s championship.He says it’s been tough on them, at times he says they play well, but other times they seem nervous and afraid to get beat. Dirx’s team hasn’t lost a 2A game and says playing schools from the larger classes should help in their tournament run. He says the bigger schools have hitters throughout the lineup that can hit the ball, while the smaller schools sometimes don’t have the hitting depth. Dirx says his team is looking to focus in now that the tournament play is starting. He says it really changes as almost every pitch, and every out is so critical. He says you can’t afford to make a mistake. In Class 1A, North Mahaska faces Lynville-Sully at Treynor. North Mahaska won both times the teams met already this year, but coach Kevin Kelderman says they’re not taking anything for granted.He says they’re a good team with solid hitting and are capable of knocking anybody out of the tournament. Kelderman says at this time of year you need some good arms.He says pitching is the main key in high school baseball, as he says you always have a chance to win if you have a pitcher who can dominate with a little defense behind them. Also in 1A, defending champion Van Meter facing Earlham in a game at St. Marys. Third-rated Valley of Elgin plays seventh-rated Lansing Kee in another opening round game in Class1A. Thee teams split a pair of regular season matchups. Valley coach Roger Craig says they had a heck of a game when they faced them the first time this season.
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