Good things coming; Vikings hoping experience will pave the way
Monday, June 09, 2014 8:01 AM
The Decorah baseball team has eight returning letter winners and a strong desire to make it back to the state baseball tournament this July.
Returning letter winners for the Vikings are, from left, front row - Bryce Pierce, Collin Nimrod, Jake Hovden, Brady Dawley. Back row - Austin Ashbacher, Kyle Kane, Dustin Cary, Cole Svestka. (Photo by Sarah Strandberg)
For the 51st year in a row, the Vikings will be led by Head Coach Dennis Olejniczak. Olejniczak has a 1,311-492 record with the Vikes and an overall record of 1,319-499 during 52 seasons in the coaching box.
The Vikings of 2013 were strong, having finished second in Class 3A the season before. They boasted 11 returning letter winners.
Decorah was strong in the Northeast Iowa Conference, posting a 13-5 record to finish third in the league. They placed senior infielder Josey Jewell on the first-team all-conference list, senior pitcher Jake Kvale, junior infielder Dustin Cary, senior outfielder James Ostlie and junior utility player Kyle Kane on the second-team list.
Decorah started the playoffs with a 10-5 come-from-behind victory over Crestwood. That placed them in the district finals against Oelwein.
It was a fairly easy victory in the finale, with the Vikings disbanding the Huskies 9-3.
The season abruptly ended in the substate finale as the Vikings, ranked No. 10, fell to No. 2 Clear Lake 6-3. Decorah ended the year 27-9.
The Vikings hit .293 last season, with a .391 on-base percentage and .396 slugging clip. The team scored 221 runs on 286 hits, with 62 doubles and 199 RBI. The pitching staff compiled a 2.36 ERA with 192 strikeouts.
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