Dodgers sweep No. 3 Valley

WEST DES MOINES – Timely hitting and quality pitching lifted the fifth-ranked (Class 4A) Fort Dodge baseball team to a road sweep of No. 3 (4A) West Des Moines Valley Friday night.

After recording a 6-3 eight-inning victory in the opener, the Dodgers (15-6 overall) escaped with a 2-1 triumph in the nightcap.

“Our guys took those two losses to Waukee (on Wednesday) pretty personal and met as a group and decided they needed to right the ship,” FDSH head coach Blake Utley said. “We played good defense all night (Friday). Our pitchers were extremely sharp and we had timely hitting, which are the three things we always shoot for.”

In the first game, freshman Kole Kampen went a perfect 3-for-3 offensively. He also drove in the go-ahead score for the Dodgers with a clutch two-run double in the top of the eighth.

“Kole stepped up on an 0-2 count and hit a ball to right-center field that might’ve been gone any other day,” said Utley. “The wind was really blowing from left to right, which I think probably played into our advantage. We didn’t give up any extra-base hits against a speedy team that can swing the bats well.”

Austin Halligan added two hits, including a double and two runs scored.

Keegan Gormally (3-2) went the distance in the win, allowing seven hits and one earned run. Gormally walked none and fanned three.

Down 1-0 in the seventh inning of the second contest, the Dodgers pulled in front for good behind RBI singles from Tyler Vaughn and Devon Harms.

“Tommy Halligan and Gormally each made great defensive plays in the bottom of the sixth that really swung the momentum in our favor,” Utley said. “We didn’t have a runner reach second base until the seventh inning against (Drew) Denkinger. You’ve got give Tyler credit for upping his game and coming through like a senior should do.”

Vaughn (4-2) picked up the complete game victory, scattering six hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

With the pair of losses, the Tigers fell to 13-4 on the season.

Next outing for the Dodgers is Monday when they host Marshalltown for a CIC Northern Division matchup.