What has become a mid-season tradition for the Pella High and Pella Christian baseball teams unfolds this afternoon in Des Moines, as the cross-town rivals face each other in a non-conference contest at Principal Park. Eagles’ head coach Brad Rolffs says regardless of the outcome, he really looks forward to the entire experience of the day.
“The Principal Park experience – I just take the whole thing in. It’s kind of of a different atmosphere than a regular season game; it’s just one varsity game – there’s no JV and no doubleheader,” said Rolffs. “We just really try to enjoy the day. We’ve lost twice in a row there to Pella, but no matter what happens we try to enjoy the day and hang out in the afternoon; and we’ll enjoy spending time together at the pro game tonight.”
In the other dugout, Pella High’s Al Vasher says part of what makes the experience special is the mutual respect the two squads have for each other.
“They have a group of kids over there [at Pella Christian] that just enjoy playing the game. Their coach, Brad [Rolffs] does a really nice job of coaching the game of baseball, and that passion and enthusiasm just bleeds down through the program,” said Vasher. “I think our kids do the same thing. I think our kids just really enjoy playing the game right now – and really, honestly, that’s it – I mean what better way to play a Saturday afternoon ball game than to compete against the kids from across town?”
Pella High won both games of a hard-fought, well-played doubleheader earlier this season at Pella Christian by scores of 7-5 and 4-1. You can hear coverage of today’s game broadcast live on 92.1 fm KRLS with Eric Gotschall and Chad Whitten providing the call from Principal Park in Des Moines. Coverage begins at noon, immediately following an earlier edition of the Weekend Marion County Midday Magazine.