And what of the now-former record holder? Guy De Haan (’72) now resides in Pella, Iowa, and doesn’t have a distinct recollection of that March 24 meeting with Covenant College in 1972—partly because he was a high volume strikeout pitcher. He does remember that it was on a spring break trip for the Defenders where they played Covenant at Lookout Mountain, Georgia. That Defender team ended the season seven and seven, started the season with four straight wins, and was coached by Syne Altena. De Haan explains how he struck out so many batters.
“I threw a 12-6 curveball right over the top, and it dropped off at the end like a sinker. I had great catchers, and I made them work. My strikeout pitch was the curve, and they had to get it out of the dirt. There were many innings where I’d get four strikeouts in an inning because the batter would go after one in the dirt, but the catcher had a hard time handling it,” recalls De Haan.
The 15-strikeout day in 1972 was part of a 54-strikeout season for De Haan who played two of his seasons at Dordt with his older brother Case. Case ended his career at Dordt in 1970 with 147 career strikeouts, and Guy had 149 career strikeouts when he finished his career.
“I was privileged to be Case’s younger brother, and he had an amazing fastball. My fastball wasn’t like his, but he taught me at a young age to throw the curveball and that was my pitch,” says De Haan. “I have such great memories of going to Dordt. I loved going to Dordt, and I loved playing baseball for Dordt.”
What are his thoughts on now being second all-time in the record books for strikeouts in a game?
“I was thrilled to know I still held a record from my time at Dordt. I hadn’t thought about it in forever, and I am so pleased for Gyeongju—that’s fantastic, and I’m thrilled for him. I think I speak for all my Dordt baseball brothers when I say, it’s about time!” says De Haan.