Dodgers open 4A substate play

Fort Dodge baseball team heads to Ankeny for postseason opener

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Dylan Zimmermann of Fort Dodge tags Des Moines East's Bryce Crabb on Monday at McNeil Field.

ANKENY — The Fort Dodge baseball team has started to find their groove at the right time.

The Dodgers (16-23 overall) who struggled through an 11-game losing skid at one point, have bounced back to win six straight heading into their postseason opener on Friday.

The Dodgers travel to face Ankeny (18-17) in a Class 4A substate quarterfinal. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. The winner squares off with either Mason City (24-14) or Des Moines Lincoln (15-23) on Monday at a site to be determined.

This is the first time these two programs have met since last summer, when the Dodgers swept the Hawks. They have faced each other 14 times from 2011-18, splitting the decisions at seven a piece. The Dodgers had a five-game winning streak against the Hawks 2014-16.

Junior Mason Bockoven has been putting on a hitting clinic in the last seven contests for FDSH. Bockoven is 18 for his last 21 at the plate, and has raised his batting average over 100 points in the process to .376. Bockoven leads the Dodgers in hits (44) and RBI (31).

Senior Drew Callon (.331) and classmate Drake Miller (.303) are also batting over .300 for Fort Dodge. Callon and Miller both have 17 RBI, and 42 and 33 hits, respectively.

Junior Shane Halligan has 30 hits and 23 RBI, while junior Brycen Bell and sophomore Dylan Zimmermann have 31 and 28 hits, respectively. Zimmermann has driven in 28.

Callon will likely get the start in the circle. The left-handed ace is 3-5 on the year with a 2.43 ERA. He has struck out 46 batters on the season.

The Hawks are led at the plate by sophomores Cael Boyd (.360) and Brody Brecht (.348). Boyd (36) and Brecht (32) pace the squad in hits.

Brecht has driven in 25 runs and Boyd has 30 stolen bases to go along with 36 runs scored.

Sophomore Weston Fulk (26) and senior Evan Lyons (22) are the top two RBI producers for Ankeny.

Senior Chris Spear (36ª innings pitched), Brecht (29•) and Fulk (28•) are the top three pitchers for the Hawks, with records of 3-5, 4-2 and 1-2, respectively.

Fifth-ranked Des Moines Roosevelt is the top seed in the substate.