Wednesday night's North Central Conference tilt with Algona was especially important for the St. Edmond baseball team.
While they remain in the middle of the pack in the league race, it marked a chance to score some much-needed points towards postseason standings and could push the Gaels to a No. 1 seed instead of a No. 2.
A three-run fifth provided the difference for St. Edmond, which earned the 8-6 victory at Rogers Park, dealing the Bulldogs their first conference loss of the season.
Hank Crimmins recorded the final three outs - all via strikeout - to preserve the win, giving the Gaels (13-8 overall, 7-4 in NCC) their fourth straight victory.
At the plate, Crimmins was 2-for-3 with three runs and three RBI, including a huge two-RBI double in the third.
"When we looked at the schedule a week or so ago, we knew this would be a game where we would be challenged," SEHS head coach Joe Shanks said. "We knew to win, we would have to play a near-perfect game. We had several kids step up big for us, including Colin (Flattery) coming in and pitching out of some big jams."
ST. EDMOND 8, ALGONA 6
Algona100 302 0 - 6 7 2
St. Edmond103 031 x - 8 9 0
Austin Long (L, 3-2, 4 2/3 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 K, 0 BB), Alex Remy (1 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 1 BB) and Weston Shaw; Matthew Bocken (3+ IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 K, 5 BB), Colin Flattery (W, 1-2, 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 K, 3 BB), Hank Crimmins (S, 1, 1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 K, 0 BB) and Ryan Szalat. 2B - A: Shaw, Blake Elsbecker; SE: Crimmins, Bocken.
Flattery, a sophomore, stepped in for Matthew Bocken in the third and earned the win. He pitched just over two innings, striking out a pair.
Robert Flattery was 2-for-4 at the dish, scoring twice and driving in a run, while Jason Setterdahl collected two hits and an RBI.
"With the district pairings coming out soon, this was a great chance to pick up three points (beating a Class 3A) team," Shanks said. "It could make all the difference in us being a No. 1 seed or a No. 2."
For Algona (15-5, 10-1), Weston Shaw had a double and scored a run, while Landon Rash scored twice. Tyler Frideres had three hits and drove in three runs, stealing two bases.
St. Edmond returns to action tonight back at Rogers Park against intra-city rival and No. 9 (4A) Fort Dodge. Junior varsity is set for a 5:30 p.m. start, with varsity to begin at 7:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs, who are coached by Mike Elsbecker, the brother of Fort Dodge Senior High activities and athletic director Matt Elsbecker, host Forest City tonight.