Head coach Blake Utley feels his No. 9 (Class 4A) Fort Dodge baseball team is about ready to turn the corner at any moment.
Despite being swept by second-ranked Waukee here Wednesday at Ed McNeil Field, the Dodgers (13-10 overall) showed some signs of life offensively.
FDSH, which has now dropped seven consecutive games, fell by scores of 6-0 and 12-7.
—Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
Fort Dodge’s Sam Cook makes a catch in left field against Waukee on Wednesday. For more photos, visit CU at messengernews.net
"You're never ever pleased when you lose seven in a row, but if you're looking for a positive, we started stringing some hits together in the second game (Fort Dodge was held to just one run total in its previous six games)," Utley said. "You could see our confidence just turned there all of a sudden, which was definitely a step in the right direction."
Senior No. 2 batter Cory Alexander went 3-for-4 with two runs scored in the nightcap for Fort Dodge, which is now 4-4 at home this year. JC Hatcher, Andrew Stover and Kole Kampen all contributed two hits, combining for four doubles. Both Hatcher and Stover drove in two.
After jumping out to an early lead thanks to an error by the Warrior first baseman, the Dodgers saw the visitors answer back with 12 straight runs. Fort Dodge then reeled off the last six scores of the evening, including a five-spot in the fourth.
WAUKEE 6, FORT DODGE 0
Waukee 201 110 1-6 13 0
Fort Dodge 000 000 0-0 5 2
Matt Mullenbach (W, 5-0; 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) and Robert Primrose; Kole Kampen (L, 1-2; 4 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K), Thomas Lang (3 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) and Cainen Hiracheta.
2B-W: Matt Hoeg, Malik Moore. SB-W: Luke Fegen (2), Pat Gray, Moore. CS-W: Carter Bothwell, Nick Moffitt; FD: Sam Kolacia. MH-W: Hoeg (2), Moore (3), Bothwell (2), Primrose (2); FD: JC Hatcher (2). LOB-W 7, FD 4.
WAUKEE 12, FORT DODGE 7
Waukee 033 600 0-12 17 1
Fort Dodge 100 501 0-7 12 2
Moore (W, 4-0; 3 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K), Fegen (1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K), Justin Sell (3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K) and Primrose, Bryce Hingst (4); Drew Hansen (L, 2-2; 3 IP, 12 H, 9 ER, 0 BB, 1 K), Brandon Dencklau (1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K), Brandon Archibald (2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K), Hiracheta (1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K) and Lance Williamson.
2B-W: Matt Corbett, Hoeg, Levi Schreiner; FD: Andrew Stover (2), Kampen, Hatcher. HR-W: Moore, Addison Meyers. SB-W: Moffitt, Fegen (2). MH-W: Corbett (3), Moore (2), Meyers (3), Bothwell (2); FD: Cory Alexander (3), Hatcher (2), Stover (2), Kampen (2). LOB-W 8, FD 6. DP-W 3.
However, the Dodgers failed to capitalize on several other golden opportunities, hitting into three double plays and having two runners thrown out at the plate in the second contest alone.
"Waukee has some good pitching and swings the bats awfully well," said Utley. "They were very aggressive on the basepaths (last night), too, which didn't show up on their stats coming in (the Warriors swiped seven bags in nine attempts Wednesday after entering 37-for-45 on the season)."
Brandon Archibald, a senior, worked two perfect innings in relief for FDSH. Archibald benefited from a nice lunging catch from second baseman Alexander to end the fifth.
Matt Corbett and Addison Meyers finished with three hits and three runs apiece for Waukee (23-3). Malik Moore and Carter Bothwell each added a pair of hits. Moore blasted a two-run longball in the second inning, while Meyers crushed a three-run shot in the fourth.
In the opener, Hatcher provided a bright spot for Fort Dodge with a 2-for-3 offensive effort. Austin Halligan, Sam Kolacia and Sam Cook each managed singles. Only two of the five Dodger hits reached the outfield.
Defensively, FDSH gunned down three Warriors at the plate. Sophomore catcher Cainen Hiracheta also threw out two Waukee potential base stealers.
Moore was 3-for-4 with three RBI, a double and a run scored for the Warriors. Matt Hoeg, Carter Bothwell and Robert Primrose all notched two hits. Hoeg also crossed the dish twice.
Waukee outhit Fort Dodge in the doubleheader, 30-17. The Dodgers committed four errors compared to one for the Warriors, whose only three defeats this season came to No. 4 West Des Moines Dowling (1-0), Ottumwa (2-1) and Ankeny (2-0).
"From the get-go this season, we knew our pitching depth was going to be tested," Utley said. "With so many games this week, we just don't have a whole lot left in the tank."
Looking to rebound, the Dodgers will face intra-city rival St. Edmond (13-8) tonight. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m. at Rogers Sports Complex.