Baseball will have a new feel this year, as the state baseball tournaments will not be played at Principal Park.
Carroll and Iowa City will be the host of the four state tournaments. Merchants Park in Carroll will be the sight for Class 1A and 2A.
Class 3A and 4A schools will play on the home field of the University of Iowa in Iowa City at Duane Banks Field.
“The last 15 months have been filled with changes and constantly-evolving plans, and this tournament is no exception,” said IHSAA executive director Tom Keating in a press release. “We’re excited to have two high-quality hosts in Carroll and the University of Iowa where our student-athletes can make memories and compete for state championships.”
Principal Park has served as the state site since 2005. This will be the first time since 2004 that the tournament will be played on two separate fields.
“The good thing about Principal Park is its centralized location,” said Fort Dodge head coach Blake Utley. “Iowa City has a great field with turf and Carroll is a beautiful stadium as well.
“Both fields will be great places for the state tournament.”
The 1A and 2A tournaments will be held July 26 through July 29 and the 3A and 4A fields will take the field July 28 through July 31.
“I started in 2008 and I’ve only known Principal Park,” said St. Edmond head coach Mike Szalat. “My son (Ryan) was a bat boy in 2004 at Marshalltwon when St. Edmond was there.
“When St. Edmond and Fort Dodge were there in 2010 (Principal Park), when I was an assistant, it was great to be able to be a part of both teams.”
The schedules and sites were approved by the Board of Control on Thursday. The one-year plans are pending formal approval of the city of Carroll and the University of Iowa.
Conflicting dates with the new Minor League Baseball schedules as announced by Major League Baseball caused for a change in 2021 and the IHSAA has not yet determined sites or details for baseball’s future state tournaments.
“We greatly appreciate the work of the Iowa Cubs and Principal Park staff over the last 16 state tournaments, especially with last year’s health protocols and late adjustments,” said IHSAA assistant director and co administrator Todd Tharp.
Carroll first hosted the state tournament in 1970, and again in 1973. The summer event returned in 1995 as it transitioned to an eight-team format, with two of the four classes playing at Carroll Baseball Stadium. The stadium has over 1,200 permanent seats and was renovated in 2011 and renamed Merchants Park, which was its title prior to 1965.
“We play the CYO tournament in Carroll and I love the field,” Szalat said. “It has an intimate feeling and when you’re playing the game, it has a great sound.”
The large-school classes will travel to the eastern side of the state to Iowa City for the first time. Duane Banks Field, the on-campus home for the Hawkeyes, seats 2,300 fans.
“It’s a great opportunity for the kids to get a chance to play on a Division I field,” Utley said. “The good thing about playing on turf is you get true hops. The ball does roll a little differently. When we played in Johnston, our outfielders said that the ball sometimes snakes.
“The three-day setup is definitely going to be helpful to teams with a deep pitching staff.”
Tickets will be solid digitally through the ISHAA tickets page and will be $10 per two-game session at each site. Quarterfinal and semifinal dates will feature four games daily, with each session consisting of the tewo early games and two later games.
Monday, July 26 — Class 1A Quarterfinals
Tuesday, July 27 — Class 2A Quarterfinals
Wednesday, July 28 — 1A and 2A Semifinals
Thursday, July 29 — 1A and 2A Championships
AT IOWA CITY
(Duane Banks Field)
Wednesday, July 28 — Class 3A Quarterfinals
Thursday, July 29 — Class 4A Quarterfinals
Friday, July 30 — 3A and 4A Semifinals
Saturday, July 31 — 3A and 4A Championships