Wartburg completed an historic run through the Iowa Conference baseball tournament in Cedar Rapids by winning three-straight elimination games to capture the title and the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA division three regionals. The three wins came during an eight hour span.
Wartburg coach Joel Holst says it’s one of the "more awesome performances" he’s seen to win that many games. He says they did some things with their pitchers that were scary, but the players came through. Holst who says everybody played a role, including the offensive hitters from the top to the bottom and the defense was solid.
It marks the first time a team has won three straight to come out of the losers bracket. Holst says you don’t often get asked to play three 9 inning games in one day. He says they were able to overcome the physical toll to win.
Next up for the Knights is a trip to the division-three regionals. Holst says they’ll refocus and let the pitchers get ready again. He says the conference season has gotten them ready.
The story of the tournament was the pitching of Wartburg’s Jerrold Martijn. The senior from Aruba opened the tournament with a complete game, 12-strikeout, three-hitter against Buena Vista on Thursday, then on only a day of rest, tossed a second complete-game in a victory over Luther.
Martijn says he knew if they were going to win it he had to come back and pitch again and he wanted to pitch just four or five innings, and then they started scoring runs and he was able to go all the way.
Wartburg is 27-18.