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East too much for Dodgers

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Drake Miller connects for Fort Dodge against Sioux City East at McNeil Field on Friday. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

The final two weeks of the regular season will be packed full of opportunities for the Fort Dodge baseball team to gain momentum.

And Dodger head coach Blake Utley firmly believes his squad will do just that.

Fort Dodge dropped a 7-2 decision to Sioux City East here Friday night at Ed McNeil Field, suffering an eighth consecutive setback.

“I feel like we are on track to get where we need to be,” Utley said. “We are just in a rut right now. As coaches, we have to keep selling the guys that if they continue coming to work, we’ll turn things around.

“I’ve said it all year, but we’ve got great guys and I know they’ll keep working hard.”

Drake Miller belted a third inning solo home run on the first pitch he saw for the Dodgers (10-21 overall), but Carson Peterson’s double was the only other hit of the evening.

Nate Zyzda pitched four innings for the Black Raiders (21-10), striking out four and improving to 5-2 on the year. Casey Blake drove in two runs and Alec Patino had a double among his three hits.

“Sioux City East is a very good ballclub,” Utley said. “I was happy with our energy level. We just have things we need to clean up. As long as we continue to show up to work every single day, we’ll get where we need to be.

“Good teams and this game show you what you need to work on.”

East broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the fourth, adding three more in the top of the seventh. They have now won five in a row and eight of the last nine overall.

The Dodgers plated a run in the fifth to inch closer at that time, and nearly had a rally going in the seventh when Ray Ray Douglas made a spectacular diving catch in center to rob Drew Callon of extra bases.

Fort Dodge hosts Mason City on Monday for a doubleheader. First-pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. FDSH also has twinbills scheduled against Des Moines North and Des Moines East, along with single games vs. LeMars and Carroll before beginning Class 4A district play later this month.

SIOUX CITY EAST 7, FORT DODGE 2

SC East 010 300 3 — 7 12 1

Fort Dodge 001 010 0 — 2 2 1

WP–Nate Zyzda (5-2, 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 K, 2 BB). LP–Mason Bockoven (1-5, 5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 4 K, 3 BB).

HR–FD: Drake Miller. 2B–SCE: Alec Patino; FD: Carson Peterson. RBI–SCE: Nate Zyzda, Alec Patino, Colton DeRocher, Casey Blake (2), Joe Roder; FD: Drake Miller.