North Central Conference play opened with a bang for the St. Edmond baseball team here Friday night.
Winning their fourth straight game by the mercy rule to start the season, the sixth-ranked (Class 2A) Gaels (4-0 overall, 1-0 in the NCC) hammered Iowa Falls-Alden by a 15-3 final in five innings at Rogers Sports Complex.
Despite trailing early, SEHS pulled away by batting around in each of the first three frames. The Gaels have now outscored their opponents this year by a combined margin of 53-11.
"For this early in the season, we've really been doing a good job at the plate," St. Edmond head coach Joe Shanks said. "Our guys have put pressure on the defense by putting the ball in play and taking advantage of what the pitcher gives us or doesn't give us."
Junior No. 2 hitter Ryan Szalat went a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk and four runs scored for the Gaels. Hank Crimmins, Logan Fear and Colin Flattery all collected a pair of hits.
Crimmins and Flattery both delivered three RBI, while Matthew Bocken and Crimmins crossed the dish three times a piece. Fear and Landon Hughett each scored twice, and Fear knocked in two.
ST. EDMOND 15, IOWA FALLS-ALDEN 3 (5 Inn.)
Iowa Falls-Alden 200 01-3 5 2
St. Edmond 454 2x-15 11 2
Bo Williams (L; 1 1/3 IP, 7 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 2 K), Ross Norem (2 2/3 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K) and Logan Krause; Hank Crimmins (W, 2-0; 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) and Matthew Bocken. 2B-IF-A: Sam Thielen. HR-IF-A: Thielen. MH-IF-A: Brandon Qualley (2), Thielen (2); SE: Ryan Szalat (3), Crimmins (2), Logan Fear (2), Colin Flattery (2). SB-IF-A: Qualley; SE: Bocken, Fear, Szalat. CS-IF-A: Cam Scadden. LOB-IF-A 4, SE 7.
"Hank's really been seeing the ball well and hitting it hard," said Shanks. "He had some more quality at-bats (Friday). On the mound, he's still getting in the groove and working on getting his mechanics squared around."
Crimmins (2-0) also went the distance in the victory, scattering five hits and two earned runs. The ace right-hander walked two and fanned three. Crimmins threw 41 of his 69 pitches for strikes.
Sam Thielen launched a two-run longball to right field for the Cadets (1-3, 0-1) in the first inning.
"We have a young group of guys that went through some ups and downs last year, but they were playing as well as any veteran team I've been around at the end of the season," said Shanks. "This is a fun team to watch and coach."
Next action for St. Edmond is Monday at NCC rival Eagle Grove.