Zimmermann’s blast seals split

Dodger baseball squad nearly earns sweep at Waukee

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Drew Callon of Fort Dodge makes a play at McNeil Field.

WAUKEE — Fort Dodge had grinded its way through 17 innings of a CIML Iowa Conference baseball doubleheader at Waukee on Monday, and head coach Blake Utley’s squad had very little to show for their effort.

Dylan Zimmermann changed the trajectory of the night with one swing of the bat.

The sophomore launched a three-run home run to spark a six-run ninth inning, pushing the Dodgers past the Warriors in the nightcap of the twinbill, 9-3.

Fort Dodge dropped a 3-2, nine-inning heartbreaker in the opener.

Zimmermann’s blast snapped a 3-3 tie and plated Drake Miller and Shane Halligan. Miller had walked and Halligan singled to set up the at-bat.

“What a night,” Utley said. “It was just an intense battle from start to finish between two quality ballclubs that wouldn’t give in.

“We thought we had the game won (in the bottom of the seventh), but they tied it and we had to respond. That’s what we were doing all the way through, though — instead of hanging our heads when something didn’t go our way, we’d respond. And Dylan did it in a big way there.”

Leadoff hitter Drew Callon was 2-for-5 with two runs scored in the nightcap. Halligan and freshman Carson Peterson contributed two hits each for the Dodgers (10-13 overall).

Junior Mason Bockoven worked 6ª innings, surrendering only a single earned run and stirking out four.

Fort Dodge fell behind 2-0 in the fourth, but immediately tied things up with two in the top of the fifth and went up 3-2 with a run in the seventh.

Callon was brilliant in the opener, tossing 8• of three-hit ball. The senior left-hander struck out nine.

The Dodgers finally broke the scoreless ice with two runs in the top of the ninth in game one, but the Warriors (15-9) fought back and escaped with three runs in the bottom of the frame.

“Drew and Mason were absolutely outstanding on the mound,” Utley said. “I can’t say enough about our pitching performances.

“We still have a lot of little things to correct, but we’re getting closer. And our bats were coming around; we had 21 hits in the 18 innings. It’s just a matter of a few more timely hits, but we got that and then some in the (ninth inning of game two).”

Halligan had two hits and drove in a run, as did Zimmermann.

The Dodgers are back in action on Wednesday at Marshalltown.

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