The ninth-ranked (Class 4A) Fort Dodge baseball team has experienced enough peaks and valleys to know when one is coming.
Despite getting swept by defending state champion Johnston at Ed McNeil Field Wednesday, FDSH head coach Blake Utley doesn't believe a prolonged slide is in store.
Scores of the games were 8-3 and 2-0 in favor of the Dragons, as the nightcap concluded just before heavy rains hit the field.
With only a handful of games left before postseason play begins, the Dodgers (20-12 overall) are working towards "peaking" at the right time.
"You never want to get swept," Utley said. "But our heads are still held high. These kids understand that days like this will happen and I do not believe it will last.
"We call this 'peak week' and we are not going to let this hiccup slow us down."
JOHNSTON 8, FORT DODGE 3
Johnston001 421 0 - 8 13 2
Fort Dodge200 100 0 - 3 5 0
Clayton Holcomb (W, 7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 K, 2 BB) and Nolan Monthei; Cory Alexander (L, 4 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 2 K, 1 BB), Drew Hansen (5, 3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 K, 2 BB) and Cainen Hiracheta. 2B-J: Andrew Heuss, Tanner Correy, Nick Stitzell.
JOHNSTON 2, FORT DODGE 0
Johnston100 000 1 - 2 5 0
Fort Dodge000 000 0 - 0 4 0
Jack Dreyer (W, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 K, 2 BB) and Monthei; Max Bodholdt (L, 6 1/3 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 3 BB), Andrew Stover (7, 2/3, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K, 0 BB) and Hiracheta. HR-J: Monthei.
Max Bodholdt gave the Fort Dodge pitching staff a breather, tossing six-plus innings and scattering just five hits. He allowed only a first inning solo home run to Nolan Monthei.
"What a great first varsity outing for Max," Utley said. "We've seen some tremendous games from him at the sophomore level, and with the (CIC Northern) race coming to a close, we had to give our top pitchers a break.
"He came out and pitched well enough to win; we just didn't give him any support."
Johnston (17-14-1) freshman Jack Dreyer earned the victory in the nightcap, allowing just four hits and striking out five. Clayton Holcomb, a junior, picked up the win in the opener, scattering five hits and allowing three earned runs.
Austin Halligan had two hits on the day, scoring a run and stealing a base, while Sam Kolacia had two hits as well.
"We've got a busy week ahead of us, and we still have a shot at claiming a share of the league crown," Utley said. "I have complete confidence that we will bounce right back."
The Dodgers travel to Marshalltown for a conference doubleheader on Thursday. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.