Fresh off a record-breaking season on the diamond, the Fort Dodge baseball team recently landed 10 players on the all-CIML Iowa Conference teams.
Senior Luke Vandermaten (IF), senior Will Gormally (OF) and junior Tyler Vaughn (P) were each named to the top squad for the Class 4A state runner-up Dodgers, while junior Devon Harms (C), senior Sam Edwards (1B), junior Tommy Halligan (IF) and sophomore JC Hatcher (P) all made the second team.
In addition, senior Isaac Lehman, senior Nathan Matthes and freshman Austin Halligan were each honorable mention nominees. Fort Dodge's Matt Elsbecker was recognized as Coach of the Year as well for directing the Dodgers to the league crown and their winningest season in school history at 36-8 overall and 17-3 in the conference.
Vandermaten, a shortstop, batted .403 with 58 hits, 24 runs and 21 RBI. As a pitcher, Vandermaten went 6-3 with two saves and a 3.61 ERA in 44 2/3 innings of work.
"Luke really improved over the course of his four years as a baseball player," said Elsbecker, who has guided FDSH to five state appearances since 2005. "He was the best shortstop and No. 2 hitter in our conference, which was really a tribute to him."
Gormally, a center fielder, paced the Dodgers in batting average (.440), hits (62), runs (41), doubles (17), triples (3), stolen bases (10) and was second in RBI (34). On the mound, the southpaw was 6-3 with one save and a 3.16 ERA in 62 innings. Gormally was previously chosen to the all-conference second team in 2011.
2012 ALL-CIML IOWA CONFERENCE BASEBALL
First Team - Jeff Pullen sr., C, Valley; Austin Stephens, sr., 1B, Valley; Luke Vandermaten, sr., IF, Fort Dodge; Nolan Lodden, sr., IF, Valley; Zach Scharff, sr., IF, Waukee; Tanner Hinkle, jr., OF, Valley; Bennett Mann, sr., OF, Marshalltown; Will Gormally, sr., OF, Fort Dodge; Kyle Carnahan, sr., UTIL, Marshalltown; Ryan Erickson, sr., UTIL, Mason City; Robert Hansen, sr., UTIL, Waukee; Tyler Vaughn, jr., P, Fort Dodge; Nate Marshall, sr., P, Valley.
Second Team - Devon Harms, jr., C, Fort Dodge; Sam Edwards, sr., 1B, Fort Dodge; Tommy Halligan, jr., IF, Fort Dodge; Jake Pauley, sr., IF, Valley; Ryan Mitchell, jr., IF, Marshalltown; Brody Baumann, sr., OF, Valley; Alex Thompson, sr., OF, Marshalltown; Brandon Potts, sr., OF, Waukee; Ben Miller, jr., UTIL, Valley; Bo Brammer, sr., UTIL, Ames; Jordan Niehaus, jr., UTIL, Waukee; Nate Whitham, sr., P, Valley; JC Hatcher, so., P, Fort Dodge.
Honorable Mention-Fort Dodge: Isaac Lehman, sr.; Nathan Matthes, sr.; Austin Halligan, fr.
Coach of the Year-Matt Elsbecker, Fort Dodge.
"Will had another outstanding year," Elsbecker said. "He was our best hitter and covered so much ground in center field.
"Both (Gormally and Vandermaten) left a mark on Dodger baseball that others will want to follow, which is what it's all about."
Vaughn finished 10-1 with a 2.31 ERA, 57 strikeouts and a pair of saves in 66 2/3 innings. He also managed a .342 average at the plate with 40 hits, 26 RBI and 24 runs scored.
"Tyler stepped up and had a great year with his only loss being in the championship game (a 10-0 setback to top-seeded Ankeny)," said Elsbecker. "I would've liked to have seen him pitch on full rest against (the Hawks). He's a young man that's a four-sport athlete and just works his tail off."
As a catcher, Harms batted .383 with 41 hits, 21 RBI and 19 runs. Harms committed just three errors in 233 chances behind the dish for a .987 fielding percentage.
Edwards, a first baseman, posted an even .300 average and led the Dodgers in RBI (40) and home runs (4), while collecting 39 hits.
Tommy Halligan, a third baseman, batted .370 with 51 hits, 31 runs and 25 RBI.
Hatcher was 6-0 with one save and a 2.26 ERA, while allowing only 30 hits in 46 1/3 innings. Offensively, he registered a .364 average with 36 hits, 24 runs and 22 RBI.
Lehman, a left fielder, batted .352 with 43 hits, 35 runs and 25 RBI.
Matthes went a perfect 4-0 with a 3.23 ERA in 26 innings.
Austin Halligan, a right fielder, hit .319 with 31 runs, 30 hits and 14 runs driven in.
After losing seven seniors from last summer's state semifinalist lineup, Elsbecker was thoroughly pleased with everything his squad was able to accomplish this season.
"The best thing about this season was two or three guys came out of the woodwork and really established themselves," said Elsbecker. "We fell one step short (of a state crown), but credit our guys for the way they go about being a Dodger baseball player."