Dewanz comes through for Bethany Lutheran in big game

NEW ULM — Former Minnesota Valley Lutheran pitcher Nick Dewanz came up big in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) tournament championship game last weekend.

The senior righthander went 5 1/3 innings and struck out four to lead the Vikings to a 2-1 win over St. Scholastica.

“I kind of saved him for that situation, knowing that he threw against them a couple of years ago and did really well,” Vikings head coach Ryan Kragh said. “It was one of those situations where we saved him — he was one of our last options. To give us that effort and to give us a chance to win, what he did was unbelieveable for our program.”

Kragh said that Dewanz has embraced his role on the team.

“He has been one of those spot starters for us and has come in to some different situations,” Kragh said. “He has started a couple of conference games. He has not been in our regular rotation but is one of those guys who we knew we needed to have in certain situations. He had some huge starts late in the year — one against Morris that was a big start — and one against Crown and then the big one in the championship game of the UMAC tournament where he two-hit St. Scholastica. He is a competitor and he is finally healthy after a year and a half. He just competes.”

The Vikings begin NCAA Regional play Thursday at 11 a.m. when they play Concordia University-Chicago at Wade Stadium in Duluth.