Dilks receives all-state honors
In his first season as part of the regular varsity lineup, Mt. Pleasant baseball’s Justin Dilks came out swinging, and the Panther junior received Class 3A second team all-state honors from the Iowa Newspaper Association for his efforts.
“It’s really an awesome honor to make all-state, especially as a junior,” Coach Brent Broeker said.
Dilks’ junior year was his first opportunity to play a big role for the Mt. Pleasant varsity baseball team.
“Some of the other sophomores last year — like (Carson) Remick and (Justin) Chalupa — got a lot of playing time last season, but Dilks and (Tyler) Pace didn’t have as much opportunity to move up to varsity,” Broeker said.
Pace started at shortstop for the Panthers this season and has earned first team all-conference honors, as well as the Defensive Player of the Year award from his teammates.
“Perhaps they (Dilks and Pace) were better for it, because they were on JV another year and gained some confidence,” Broeker said.
Whatever the cause, Dilks pounded the ball in his first season as a varsity starter.
“He just hit the crap out of the ball for me all year,” Broeker said. “And he was pretty consistent, too.”
Dilks led the team on the season with a slash line of .455/.500/.693 in 88 at-bats. The first baseman/designated hitter had a team-high 11 doubles and two home runs, and also crushed a pair of triples. He topped the Panthers with 39 total RBIs.
He went 2-for-2 with a home run in the first game of the season, setting the tone for the rest of the year.
In five different games, he was perfect at the plate. In the middle of the season, he went three straight games with three hits each and had at least three hits in four other games on the season. He went 4-for-4 in a June 8 game against IMS.
Dilks’ efforts earned him first team all-district honors and recognition from his teammates as Offensive Player of the Year.
He can now add his title of all-state selection to that list as well.
“It’s a well-deserved honor; I’m glad he got it,” Broeker said.