The scoreboard may have read 7-2, but the fourth-ranked (Class 2A) St. Edmond baseball team was put to the test at Rogers Park Tuesday night in a district semifinal against Eagle Grove.
Behind David Flattery's 15 strikeouts, and a five-run sixth, the Gaels advanced to face North Central Conference rival Clarion-Goldfield back here Saturday at 7 p.m. in a district final. The winner will compete in a substate final next Tuesday in Mason City for a berth in the state field.
Flattery struck out the side in the fifth and sixth innings for St. Edmond (22-8 overall), and even recorded a five-strikeout inning in the fourth after a pair of Eagle (7-20) runners advanced on a drop third strike and a passed ball. The junior exited the contest in the seventh with what SEHS head coach Joe Shanks called a forearm strain.
Photo by Tom Vogt
St. Edmond’s Nate Kolacia slides into second base as Deion Shivers of Eagle Grove makes a throw on Tuesday at Rogers Park.
"Thankfully, it seems as if the injury is in the forearm and not the elbow," Shanks said. "He told our trainer he had no pain in the elbow or with his ligaments, so that is a good sign as we begin this postseason."
The Gaels notched the first run of the contest in the second, as Nate Kolacia singled and moved to third on an error before Aaron Chalstrom drove him in.
Kolacia finished 2-for-2 at the plate, while Chalstrom drove in a pair, including a key double in the sixth.
ST. EDMOND 7, EAGLE GROVE 2
Eagle Grove001 100 0 - 2 1 2
St. Edmond010 015 x - 7 13 1
Brennan Cameron (L, 3-8, 5 1/3 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 K, 2 BB), Tyler Vorrie (2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 K) and Kent Jorgensen; David Flattery (W, 3-1, 6 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 15 K, 3 BB), Nick Clark (2/3 IP, 1 K) and Matthew Bocken. 2B - SE: Aaron Chalstrom, Cal Coleman. RBI - SE: Tommy Setterdahl (2), Coleman (2), Chalstrom (2), D. Flattery. SB - EG: Dylan Thielen; SE: Nick Clark, Sam Kolacia.
"Aaron's hit in the sixth was one of the biggest plays of the game," Shanks said. "But the biggest play of the game came courtesy of Nate when he threw that runner out in the fourth."
Eagle Grove notched its second run off a wild pitch, and was threatening to add to it when Kent Jorgensen dropped a hit in front of Kolacia in right. The senior scooped the ball and got Jorgensen at first, keeping the third run from crossing home.
"Nate's been real close to throwing someone out from right this season, but that's the first time he's done it," Shanks said. "That was a big play because I think it really changed the momentum.
"We restarted the game after that inning, and our kids focused a lot better."
St. Edmond tied it at 2-all with a sacrifice fly by Flattery that brought in Cal Coleman before exploding in the sixth with seven hits. Coleman drove in two with a single, as did Tommy Setterdahl.
Nick Clark finished with three hits to lead the Gaels, along with closing out the contest after Flattery exited. Matthew Bocken also had two hits for St. Edmond.
Brenton Pohlman had the lone base hit for the Eagles.
Awaiting the winner of District 3 will be either Saint Ansgar or Forest City. Those two teams meet Saturday night in Forest City.