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Fort Dodge earns big home sweep over MC

Blake Utley has seen improvement from his 2024 Fort Dodge baseball team at every turn.

That theme continued here on Monday in a big way against long-time rival Mason City in front of a large crowd of Dodger fans at Ed McNeil Field, as the home team gave their followers plenty to cheer about in a sweep of the visiting Riverhawks.

Fort Dodge won big twice, 10-4 and 10-1.

“This all started on day one (of practice),” standout freshman pitcher Tanner Peterson said following his complete-game, four-strikeout gem in the nightcap. “We just love playing together.”

Utley dates it back even further.

“They’ve grown up playing Legends baseball under (coach) Nick Pederson,” Utley added. “It’s been a pattern of success. This group expects to win. They are just super competitive.”

Peterson ostensibly put Fort Dodge on his back in game two. He was spinning a no-hitter through 3ª innings, and also launched a home run for one of the nightcap’s first hits.

Fortunately for the home team, a six-run sixth inning outburst put the doubleheader sweep firmly in the Dodgers’ hands, with a pair of upperclassmen — junior Rylan Kingrey and senior Karch Smith — joining freshman Kolton Schiltz with two-run singles.

Game one was close early on, too. Fort Dodge held a 4-2 lead through four and a half frames before piecing together back-to-back three-run rallies. Schiltz started a five-RBI night with three driven in, while Kingrey added two and junior Royce Pederson belted a two-run homer.

The sweep moved Utley’s squad to 14-11 overall and 7-3 in the IAC North. The calendar continues to rocket to the postseason, but the coaching staff have no worries about that.

“With each practice and game situation, these guys keep growing and growing,” Utley said. “I’ve gotten to the point where I told the freshmen I don’t consider them freshmen any more. It’s aging and coming together with a busy late-season slate that will lead to us building to where we want to be for the tournament run.”

Mason City is now 10-11 overall and 3-7 in the IAC North.

Fort Dodge continues its current home stand Wednesday, as Des Moines Roosevelt visits for a 5 p.m. twinbill.

FORT DODGE 10, MASON CITY 4

Mason City 000 020 2 – 4 8 4

Fort Dodge 301 033 x – 10 6 1

WP — Tru McBride. LP — Brayden Miller. 2B–FD: Rylan Kingrey, Karch Smith, HR–FD: Royce Pederson. SAC–FD: Rylan Kingrey. HBP–FD: Jace Johnson. SB–FD: Rylan Kingrey, Tanner Peterson 2, Jaxson Dencklau.

FORT DODGE 10, MASON CITY 1

Mason City 000 001 0 – 1 3 3

Fort Dodge 013 006 x – 10 9 0

WP — Tanner Peterson. LP — Owen Rickers. HR–FD: Tanner Peterson. HBP–FD: Karch Smith, Jace Johnson, Kolton Schiltz. SB–FD: Kolton Schiltz, Royce Pederson.

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