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DRAMATIC FLAIR

Elsbecker belts walk-off 2-run HR, hits for the cycle

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: The Fort Dodge baseball team celebrates Eli Elsbecker’s walk-off home run on Wednesday at McNeil Field. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

Down 7-0, the Fort Dodge baseball team put on their rally caps and answered the call here Wednesday night at Ed McNeil Field against CIML Iowa Conference rival Marshalltown.

Junior Eli Elsbecker connected on a two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the eighth to give the Dodgers a thrilling 12-10 victory in the doubleheader opener.

Elsbecker hit for the cycle, going 5-for-5 with five RBI and three runs scored. Drake Callon, Jace Ulrich and Dalton Rosalez each drove in two runs with Dylan Zimmermann and Tyler Schreier adding four hits and three runs scored combined.

The visiting Bobcats seemed poised to roll, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first. They added two more in the fourth before Fort Dodge got on the board with a run and began to chip away at a 7-0 deficit.

A six-run fifth, kick-started by a two-run homer from Ulrich, followed to tie the game at 7-all before each team plated two runs in the sixth. They again posted a matching number in the seventh to force extra innings.

Ulrich and Rosalez each had two hits as Sawyer Springer pitched the final two innings to earn the win with a pair of strikeouts.

Schreier reached on a single in the bottom of the eighth with one out before Elsbecker cleared the wall on a 2-0 pitch. He had already singled, doubled and tripled in the contest to that point.

The offensive surge continued in the nightcap, as the Dodgers scored four runs in the first and eight more in the second to take command. Elsbecker and Alex Underwood worked a perfect double-steal that resulted in Elsbecker scoring.

Junior Carson Peterson had a two-run homer in the first and a grand slam in the second. Callon, Davidson, Ulrich and Peterson each scored twice in the first two frames.

That was plenty of support for right-hander Drake Callon, who was looking to improve to 3-1 on the mound this year.

The nightcap was hit with a lightning delay after the second inning and hadn’t been completed by Messenger press time.

Fort Dodge returns to action Thursday at West Des Moines Valley to conclude the week.

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