Carter Petsche scattered seven hits, striking out eight, as Dyersville Beckman took an early-season matchup of top-10 teams with a 6-3 non-conference win over Western Dubuque in Dyersville, May 22.

“All week we thought we’d take the fight to them,” said Petsche. “They have a great team, but we don’t take a back seat to anyone.”

The Blazers, ranked seventh in the Class 2A preseason rankings, overcame an early 2-0 deficit to grab the win over the Class 4A second-ranked Bobcats in front of a nice crowd at Jenk Field.

There wasn’t a conference title on the line — with Western Dubuque now in the Mississippi Valley — but rest assured, the rivalry is alive and well.

“This is the kind of effort we expect later in the year,” said Beckman coach Fred Martin. “The kids battled. This is a huge win for us.”

“Carter pitched well,” he added. “We had to move some guys around but they really responded. This is a bit of a surprise at this point of the year.”

Western Dubuque grabbed the early advantage with single runs in the first and second innings. Damon Jaeger legged out a leadoff infield single and scored on an RBI single by Calvin Harris in the first frame and Payton Quagliano singled and scored on Jaeger’s second hit of the game in the second to make it 2-0.

Beckman evened things up in the third when Grant Rausch drew a walk from Harris and moved to third on a Petsche single. Brock Marbach went deep to center field to plate both before being thrown out attempting to stretch his double to a triple, and it was a ballgame at 2-2 after three innings.

The Blazers took a 6-2 lead in the fifth when Riley Fangmann singled to lead off and Rausch drew a walk from Quagliano, who relieved Harris to open the fourth, to give Beckman runners on first and second with nobody out. Quagliano notched a pair of strikeouts before hitting Marbach with a pitch to load the bases.

Josh Engler then delivered a clutch two-out single to score Fangmann and Rausch before Matt Stelken’s single scored Marbach and Engler to make it a four-run advantage.

“I was just looking to put the ball in play,” said Engler. “I wanted to take it up the middle and was able to do it.”

The Bobcats nicked Petsche for a single run in the sixth on doubles by Sawyer Nauman and Quagliano, but that was as close as it would get. Shawn Deutmeyer pitched the seventh for Beckman, giving up a two-out single to Harris before getting a fly out from Kyle Lehman to end things.

“A tip of the cap to Beckman. They really took advantage of some opportunities,” said Western Dubuque coach Casey Bryant. “They played with a lot of energy and Petsche junked us to death. This will help us in the long run. We’ll be better as a result.”

Offensively for the Bobcats, Harris and Quagliano were 2-for-3 with one RBI, Jaeger 2-for-4 with one RBI, Nauman 1-for-3 and Matt Maiers 1-for-3.

Beckman had five hits on the night. Marbach was 1-for-2 with two RBIs, Engler and Stelken 1-for-3 with two RBIs, Petsche 1-for-4 and Fangmann 1-for-2.

“This really boosts our confidence,” added Engler. “We’re looking forward to the rest of the year.”