For the first time in nearly 20 years, Gladbrook-Reinbeck is going to the state baseball tournament. The unranked Rebels scored five runs in the sixth inning and three in the seventh to stun 9th-ranked Saint Ansgar, 8-to-7, last night in the Class Two-A substate final at Mason City.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck Coach John Olson, who has six seniors in his line-up says they just don’t quit. Olson says they kept at it and started hitting the ball. One of those seniors, Nick Peterson, stroked a two-on, two-out triple to rightfield to tie the game in the seventh inning, then scored the winning run on an error when Saint Ansgar’s relay throw to third sailed high.
Peterson finished the night 2-for-4 after striking out in his previous two plate appearances. Olson says it’s been a difficult week for Peterson, because he’s been concentrating on football.
Olson says Peterson has been at the Shrine Bowl, but his coach says he never quits. Olson says Peterson may look bad in one at bat, but the next one he won’t. The Rebels only previous state tournament appearance was in 1988, their first season as a combined program. Olson is elated that Gladbrook-Reinbeck is back among the state’s elite.
He says it feels "really, really good" and the goals they set were to win the conference and make some noise in the postseason. Olson says they hit a low with a three-game losing streak in the middle of the season, but then have had three six-game winning streaks.
The Rebels are seeded fifth and open first-round play against fourth-seeded North Fayette at 2 p.m. Friday at Principal Park in Des Moines.