Five in a row for Gaels
St. Edmond head baseball coach Joe Shanks has had teams that peak early in the season and stumble down the stretch.
After losing nine in a row at one point, the Gaels have won 12 of their last 15 heading into tonight’s regular season finale at Clear Lake.
Behind a nine-run third Monday night at Rogers Park, St. Edmond avenged an earlier loss this year to Hampton-Dumont, downing the Bulldogs 12-2 in five innings and winning its fifth straight.
“I’ve had teams that kind of get off to a strong start and don’t do so well at the end of the year,” Shanks said. “Hopefully, with this little run we’ve put together we can build off it (tonight) and into (Saturday).”
The Gaels (15-12 overall, 10-7 in North Central Conference) open up Class 2A, District 4 play at Story City this Saturday night against Eagle Grove.
Robert Flattery, just a ninth-grader, earned his fifth victory, striking out four and scattering six hits.
Tommy Setterdahl, playing his final home game, had a three-RBI double, while fellow senior David Flattery drove in a run and scored twice.
“The five seniors (Setterdahl, Flattery, Aaron Chalstrom, Brady Reiling and Jordan Slotten) have all done so much for this team,” Shanks said. “Some of them may not play as much as the others, but they contribute in other ways.
“I know they put a lot of pressure on themselves earlier in the year to have success, and it didn’t happen; but they never gave up and now are playing some really good baseball.”
After Hampton-Dumont (11-15, 5-12) grabbed a 2-1 lead, the Gaels erupted for nine runs in the bottom of the fourth. Five batters were walked by Brady Miller, while another was hit.
Setterdahl had his double, while Hank Crimmins drove in a pair with a base hit. Matthew Bocken, who went 2-for-3 with two runs, also had a key single in the inning to get the rally started.
“Matthew had a tremendous night,” Shanks said. “His hit was a big one (in the fourth), and in the field, he made a mistake but came right back to start a double play (in the fifth).
“These kids have learned to play with short memories and not let a bad play or at-bat get them down.”
During this current win streak, St. Edmond has outscored its five opponents 35-8. Also, over the past six years, the Gaels are now 85-20 in the league.
First-pitch tonight at Clear Lake is set for 5:30 p.m.