FDSH Baseball Players Earn All-CIML Status | News, Sports, Jobs

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: Fort Dodge’s Jace Ulrich was a repeat performer at the First Team All-CIML Iowa Conference.

Blake Utley will be the first to admit his Fort Dodge baseball team didn’t have the 2022 season they originally envisioned.

That hasn’t made the 10th year head coach any less proud of his Dodgers following the recent release of the All-CIML Iowa Conference roll of honor.

Senior Jace Ulrich was a repeat guest of honor on the first team, with classmates Carson Peterson, Triston Bockoven and Drake Callon ending up in the second team.

“I think we were very fortunate that four guys were recognized like that,” said Utley. “I know they all got frustrated at times with the way things were going but we played a very tough schedule and had seniors who were there and had earned the reputation and respect (with opposing coaches).

“These kids have put a lot of time into our program and have played a lot of games over the years.”

Ulrich hit .373 with 33 RBI. The four-year-old starter had 15 doubles and knocked out just 12 times.

“Jace always led by example.” said Utley. “He knew how to have fun with the game, but nobody would compete harder when it came time to log in.

“We will really miss his presence. He has contributed a lot to our program over the last four seasons, both on and off the pitch.”

Like Ulrich, Peterson has qualified for the university since 2019. He hit .324 with 24 RBI and was also one of the staff’s best pitchers.

“Carson was probably our best and definitely our most versatile athlete,” said Utley. “Not many people know this, but Carson played all nine positions during his time here. That’s incredibly rare. And it wasn’t just for show. If we had to do something at a certain point on the field, he did it – no questions asked.”

Bockoven led the team with a .389 batting average, erasing the .380 mark for the second summer in a row. He drove 20 times and scored 30 times.

“Triston might have been a little overlooked at times, but he was so supple and consistent.” said Utley. “He was just Mr. Consistent at the plate and on the field you knew if a ball was hit his way he would catch it.

“He was one of the toughest outs on our team day after day. A tough, competitive ball player.”

Callon led Class 4A in stolen bases at 31, a year after he stole 32.

“When we really started looking at a ‘new school’ of doing things as a program a few years ago, Drake took that idea and implemented it.” said Utley. “I think out of those 31 steals he had all but one or two by himself. He wasn’t the fastest kid in the league, but he’s a smart baserunner with great instincts. He’s only been kicked out twice, hitting around .300 and even hitting a couple of home runs.”

Senior Eli Elsbecker and Junior Dalton Rosalez made the honorable mention list.

“I have to say something to Eli” commented Utley. “I don’t think he’s ever been close to 100 percent. He had labrum hip surgery and really battled it after coming back strong at first. But nobody in our program worked as hard as Eli, and nobody wanted to be out there more than he did.

“He set a great example. I feel for him that he couldn’t get healthy enough to show his true potential here.”

Rosalez batted near .300 and drove in 19 heats.

“Dalton will be a senior we can count on who’s coming back (2023)”, said Utley. “There is now an opportunity for some of our younger boys to take the reins and help us in the transition to graduating seven of our boys.”

The Dodgers were 15-23 overall this year. Every roster before them in the CIML Iowa division — Ankeny, Ankeny Centennial, Waukee Northwest, Ames and Mason City — had won records in the regular season.

Centennial’s Joey Oakie, Ankeny’s Jamison Patton and Tamden Webb-Tate, and Waukee Northwest’s Anthony Watts were unanimously selected as the first team. Ulrich was joined by Centennial’s Damin Churman, Nick Severson and Cole Grider; Carter Geffre and Evan Gray of Ames; Carter Thomas of Mason City; Northwest’s Ben Burkle; and Marshalltown’s Nick Rebik in the top squad.

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox

About Katie Curtis

Check Also

Brescia’s men’s basketball looks for consistency early on | Sports

Brescia University has been looking for consistency at the start of its men’s basketball season. …