Skip to main content

Van Meter rolls to fourth straight Iowa Class 2A baseball state championship with 10-0 win over Estherville Lincoln Central

Van Meter has won 56 consecutive games.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

By Barry Poe | Photo by Eric Niceswanger  

CARROLL, Iowa – Van Meter’s claim to fame may be the birthplace of baseball Hall of Famer Bob Feller.

However, at this time, as far as the state of Iowa is concerned, Van Meter is the high school baseball capital of the world.

The mighty Bulldogs notched their fourth straight Class 2A state championship in resounding fashion at Merchants Park Friday, blitzing Estherville-Lincoln Central 10-0 in five innings.

Van Meter (39-0) became only the fourth program in state history to win four consecutive championships.

Norway accomplished the impressive feat from 1981-84, Lansing Kee from 1989-92 and West Des Moines Valley from 2003-06.

Moreover, Van Meter is just the 12th team ever to post a perfect Iowa high school summer baseball season. The last team to do that was Twin Cedars, which won the 1A title at 36-0 in 2014.

The Bulldogs ended Friday’s game in walk-off fashion, Dalten Van Pelt scoring the 10th run on a sacrifice fly moments after ripping a bases-loaded triple.

While the Van Meter bats were cooking with 12 hits in five innings, senior Ganon Archer was dominant on the mound.

The Kirkwood College commit simply threw the ball past Estherville-LC hitters, striking out eight of the first 10 he faced. Archer finished with nine strikeouts and gave up only a fourth-inning single to losing pitcher Carter Snyder.

“Ultimately, baseball is a team sport, but throwing strikes was a huge factor,” said Archer, who finished with an 11-0 record. “Starting up in the zone and getting ahead of batters is the best way to start an inning. And having an incredible defense behind me is awesome.”

Van Meter stretched its winning streak to 56 in a row. During its four-championship run, the Bulldogs have an eye-popping record of 127-12.

“These guys are resilient, they never go away,” Van Meter head coach Eben Baumhover said. “It’s a heck of a group of seniors that were here and we’re going to miss them a lot. Everybody on this team bought in and they never quit.

“Each year has been its own journey, and we’ve got some familiar faces here that have been around for four of them. To end this the way we did, with a walk off and a 10-spot, it was perfect.”

Van Meter scored three in the first, three in the third and four in the fifth.

Archer had a two-run double and junior Ike Speltz an RBI single in the first.

Senior Jack Pettit singled home a run in the third and senior and University of Iowa recruit Reese Moore bashed a two-run triple to deep centerfield.

“I think we can hang with anybody in the state,” Pettit said. “We’re solid up and down the lineup and we showed it today by 10-running a team in the state championship.”

It was a birthday to remember for Baumhover. He stepped in for interviews shortly after receiving the traditional Gatorade bath from his players.

Estherville-Lincoln Central, playing in its first state championship game, finished with a 32-3 record.