Kyle Lehmann didn’t have much time to lament the Dubuque County American Legion baseball team’s early exit from the Central Plains Regional tournament last week.
When he checked his cell phone following Thursday’s game, the recent Western Dubuque graduate found a text message inviting him to participate in the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Series in Carroll.
Lehmann initially turned down an invitation to play in the series because of his commitment to the Legion team. But the Large Schools East team had a couple of players back out at the last minute and hoped the right fielder could lend a hand.
“I was pretty disappointed when I found out the all-star series and the Legion tournament were the same week,” Lehmann said. “I’d already committed to the Legion team. But it’s pretty cool how everything worked out in the end.”
Lehmann departed Sioux Falls, S.D., around noon on Thursday and made it to Carroll before the first pitch of the 7 p.m. game. His aunt and grandmother picked up his high school uniform and delivered it to him in Carroll.
After a hectic Thursday, the rest of the weekend provided memories he’ll take with him for the rest of his career.
“It was pretty cool to play with the best seniors in Iowa and play with a bunch of guys from different schools,” said Lehmann, who will play at Southeastern Community College in Burlington, Iowa, this fall. “There were a few guys there who will be my teammates this fall, so it was kind of cool to get to know them before we get down to school.
“The talent level there was really high. Pretty much everyone there is going on to play in college, so it was nice to get a little taste of what it’ll be like at the next level.”
The Large Schools East, which finished third in the four-team event, included Lehmann’s Western Dubuque teammate, Sam Goodman, and Dubuque Senior’s Sam Link — both University of Iowa commits. Goodman won his team’s MVP award after pitching seven innings over two games and striking out 11. He also played the field while not pitching and went 2-for-3 with a double in a 6-2 victory over Small West in the third-place game.
“It was an awesome experience in general, and to perform well there on top of it made it even more special,” Goodman said. “It’s going to help prepare me for college immensely.
“A lot of the guys there are going Division 1, high Division 2 or will be playing at really good jucos, so it was a really good experience. It helps me get ready for college, because those are the kind of bats I’m going to be seeing the next four years.”
Dyersville Beckman’s Carter Petsche, who will play at Luther College in the fall, played for the Small School East squad. His team defeated the Small West for the championship on Sunday. Petsche took the pitching loss when Small East fell to Large West on Friday.