Dodgers stop Boone

Overcoming a rocky start, the Fort Dodge baseball team rallied for a 13-7 victory over Boone Tuesday night at Ed McNeil Field.

Despite being outhit in the game, 15-8, the third-ranked (Class 4A) Dodgers (16-6 overall) benefited from six walks, two hit-by-pitches and six Toreador defensive miscues.

Trailing by four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, FDSH erupted for a five-spot and never looked back.

“We took advantage of all (the Boone) mistakes,” Fort Dodge head coach Blake Utley said. “Our team goals are getting at least eight hits and two successful bunts every game, which we were able to do (last night). We put a lot of pressure on their defense and really kept them guessing out (in the field).”

Junior second baseman Cory Alexander, a No. 2 hitter, went 2-for-3 offensively, including a double and three RBI for the defending state runner-up Dodgers.

Austin Halligan, who reached base all five times, delivered a single, two stolen bases and three runs scored. Keegan Gormally also crossed the dish three times, while Kole Kampen came home twice. Tommy Halligan added his first longball of the season – a two-run shot to deep left field in the opening frame.

“We always preach the importance of winning the fifth, sixth and seventh innings,” said Utley. “We knew four runs down wasn’t going to be impossible to come back from. Our guys stayed together and got some timely hits as the game went on.”

Andrew Stover (2-1) posted the win in relief, scattering four hits and one earned run over 3 1/3 innings of work. The junior right-hander didn’t walk a batter and fanned one.

“I thought Andrew did a great job of coming in and giving us a good pace on the mound,” Utley said. “Boone can really swing the bats, and I think they have the potential to do some things this year at the 3A level.”

Dylan McDowell, Joey Peterson, Brett Slight, Alex Davis, Tanner Lindmark and Chris Kelly each collected a pair of hits for the Toreadors (12-5), who had one baserunner thrown out at the plate and another caught between third and home on a 3-2-5 putout from Tyler Vaughn to Devon Harms to Tommy Halligan. Both Davis and Peterson went deep for the visitors.

Winners of three straight games, Fort Dodge welcomes reigning state champion and No. 1 (4A) Ankeny (15-4) for a CIC doubleheader today. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.