Play Ball! Players to watch in Summer of 2024

By Paul D. Bowker
Posted 6/8/24

The calendar has switched to June.

Summer heat, I’m told, will start to settle in this week.

And the air is filled with the unmistakable sound of ping, ping, ping. Aluminum bats …

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Play Ball! Players to watch in Summer of 2024


The calendar has switched to June.

Summer heat, I’m told, will start to settle in this week.

And the air is filled with the unmistakable sound of ping, ping, ping. Aluminum bats hitting baseballs and softballs.

It’s summer.

In this week’s edition of The News, you’ll find team photos and information about your favorite high school baseball and softball teams.

So let’s take a look at some of the players to watch.


Tatem Telfer, Mid-Prairie: A junior who has already verbally committed to Arkansas State, Telfer has emerged as one of the top hitters and pitchers in the River Valley South. He has struck out a conference-best 36 while winning three games and helping the Golden Hawks win nine of their first 10 games.

Telfer struck out 12 in a four-inning no-hit 18-0 win over Tipton on May 28.

At the plate, Telfer is the River Valley South leader in runs batted in (15) and home runs (2). He has a .378 batting average.

Brock Harland, Mid-Prairie: The senior has been a solid catcher for the Golden Hawks every summer. He has already driven in 11 runs, but is a solid defensive player for a team that has one of the strongest pitching staffs in southeast Iowa. Mid-Prairie pitchers Brady Weber, Bowen Burmeister and Telfer have three of the five top earned-run averages in the River Valley South.

Rowan Miller, Hillcrest: The sophomore has started the season on fire. He is hitting .545 to lead the Southeast Iowa Super Conference North. He had six hits in 11 at-bats in the Ravens’ first three games, all victories.

William Dunbar, Highland: A junior, Dunbar has been perfect in stolen bases thus far, going 8-for-8 and emerging as the leader in the SEISC North.

Keep an eye on the Huskies. Their 4-8 early season record is a bit misleading because a tough schedule has included playing up against Mid-Prairie, Washington, Central Lee and 2A state quarterfinalist Van Buren County. The Huskies won their first three SEISC games.

Jack Patterson, Lone Tree: He struck out 21 batters in four starts and one relief appearance. As the Lions hit a busy schedule of games in June, look for Patterson to play a key pitching role. The Lions play three games this week, four games next week and host Highland on June 11.


Sarah Burton, Highland: After missing most of the track season due to a leg injury, Burton, a 2024 graduate, is back to her speedy self in her final summer of softball for the Huskies. One of the top base stealers in the state, Burton is 14-for-14 in stolen bases so far this season. In four years, she has stolen 114 bases and has been thrown out just once in the last three seasons.

Malia Yoder, Hillcrest: A junior, Yoder has started out the season with a .500 batting average, catapulting her among the leaders in the SEISC North, but behind teammate Claire Withrow (.611). Yoder is also among the league’s top pitchers, striking out 52 in seven games for the Ravens.

Alex Dautremont, Lone Tree: The Lions junior has emerged as the top pitcher in the SEISC with a 0.47 earned-run average and four wins in four pitching appearances. Opposing batters are hitting just .155 against Dautremont.

Dakota Mitchell, Mid-Prairie: A junior, Mitchell has started out the season quick on the basepaths, going 8-for-8 in steal attempts. It is her best start since four years ago, when as a rising freshman, she stole 23 of 25 bases. Mitchell, a North Texas NCAA DI recruit in volleyball and a runner on Mid-Prairie’s state relay teams, is hitting .438.

Sophie Miller, Mid-Prairie: A sophomore catcher, Miller is one of three Golden Hawks hitting .500 through six games. Miller ranks No. 3 in the River Valley South with four doubles and second in on-base percentage at .636. Also hitting .500 are senior Gabi Robertson and sophomore Kadence Grout.

Paul D. Bowker is the sports columnist for The News. Follow him on Twitter: @bowkerpaul

Mid-Prairie, Highland, Lone Tree, Hillcrest, baseball, softball, Tatem Telfer