WAUKEE - Rising to the occasion once again, the fourth-ranked (Class 4A) Fort Dodge baseball team swept a pivotal CIML Iowa Conference doubleheader from No. 6 (4A) Waukee Thursday night.
The Dodgers (24-4 overall, 14-2) topped the Warriors (22-8, 11-5) by scores of 5-4 and 7-1. With the pair of victories, FDSH completed the season sweep of Waukee.
Fort Dodge holds a one-game lead over No. 5 West Des Moines Valley (23-8, 13-3)?in the league standings. The Dodgers still face Marshalltown at home and Ames on the road to conclude the conference portion of the regular season.
Tyler Vaughn went 3-for-4 offensively in the opener for FDSH, while Will Gormally, Tommy Halligan and Austin Halligan all chipped in a pair of hits. JC Hatcher (sacrifice fly), Austin Halligan (double), Vaughn (double) and Sam Edwards (single) all knocked in runs for the Dodgers.
"We really competed at the plate and put the ball in play," said Dodger head coach Matt Elsbecker. "It was just a gritty effort in the first game."
Nathan Matthes (3-0) notched the win on the mound for Fort Dodge. Matthes allowed five hits - with one strikeout - over five innings. Gormally came on to record the last six outs for his first save of the year.
Fort Dodge 5, Waukee 4
Fort Dodge 020 011 1-5 13 3
Waukee 000 030 1-4 7 0
Nathan Matthes, Will Gormally (6) and Devon Harms; Brian Schmiedt, Zach Scharff (6) and Jordan Niehaus.
2B-FD: Austin Halligan, Tommy Halligan, Tyler Vaughn.
Fort Dodge 7, Waukee 1
Fort Dodge 010 010 5-7 9 0
Waukee 000 100 0-1 4 2
JC Hatcher, Vaughn (6) and Harms; Austin Battaglia, Kyle Kubiak (6) and Niehaus.
2B-FD: Austin Halligan, Isaac Lehman; W: Tyler Johnson.
"It can be tough to make pitches sometimes when it's humid, but Nathan competed hard and gave us a chance," Elsbecker said. "Gormally also stepped up and got some big outs for us."
In the second contest, the Dodgers plated five of their scores in the seventh inning. Austin Halligan finished a perfect 3-for-3, while Isaac Lehman added two hits.
Remaining unbeaten with the victory was Hatcher (5-0). Vaughn posted his second save of the season with two scoreless innings in relief.
"We came down and played good Dodger baseball for 12 of the 14 innings (on Thursday)," said Elsbecker. "We're startingthe climb and taking another step in the right direction as we head into July."
Winners of 18 of its past 19 games, Fort Dodge will battle No. 4 St. Edmond (20-6) tonight in a intra-city showdown. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m. at Rogers Sports Complex.