(Dallas Center) -- One of the state's top pitchers did his thing and came through at the plate to lead Dallas Center-Grimes past Harlan in a Class 3A substate final Wednesday night.
The Mustangs -- led by South Dakota State commit Logan Smith -- held Harlan honest and notched a 12-2, six-inning victory.
"We had our opportunities, we just didn't come through" Coach Steve Daeges said. "But tip your cap to Smith. Once he settled in, he was pretty tough."
Smith surrendered a pair of leadoff hits to give Harlan a 2-0 lead, but then settled in and fanned 10 batters on just four hits. Smith paced the Mustangs' bats, too, notching three hits and driving in four runs.
"When you put Smith on the mound, and their one-through-nine, they are pretty tough," Daeges said.
DCG responded to Harlan's two-hit first with a four-run inning to take a 4-2 lead. Harlan loaded the bases in the top of the sixth with one away in a two-run game, but couldn't take advantage. The Mustangs then mounted eight runs in the inning to seal the early victory and their first trip to state since 2015. Their opponent for the state tournament has yet to be revealed, but they will play in a state quarterfinal Tuesday.
Senior Connor Bruck started on the mound for Harlan, striking out four in the defeat. Bruck also managed two hits for the Cyclones. He finishes his career with a record of 24-2 for Coach Daeges' squad.
"It's amazing what he's done," Daeges said. "There's not too many guys that have walked onto the mound and accomplished what he has. It will be really tough to replace him next year."
Harlan finishes the season at 14-3. Bruck was their only senior.
"I thought we came a long way in a short amount of time this year," Daeges said. "We were a base-hit away from tying this up and having a chance of tying a veteran team. We just feel fortunate to have had a chance to win this game. It says a lot about our team."
The complete interview with Coach Daeges can be viewed below.