No. 6 R-S edges St. Edmond in district finals

STORY CITY – Another upset just wasn’t quite in the cards for the St. Edmond baseball team Saturday night.

Despite nearly pulling off a second straight late rally against a ranked opponent, the Gaels (17-14 overall) suffered a hard-fought 3-2 setback to No. 6 Roland-Story in a Class 2A, District 4 final at Norsemen Field.

SEHS saw its season come to a bitter end by stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh. Roland-Story hurler Zach Hovick escaped a one-out jam, inducing a pair of ground balls from Hank Crimmins and David Flattery. Crimmins hit into a 1-2 fielder’s choice, while Flattery bounced out short to second.

“We had our chances, but we just couldn’t get one more big hit,” Gael head coach Joe Shanks said. “It’s a tough way for our season to end, but we never gave in.

“We started 3-9 this year, but we rallied around each other and were able to make things fun and put some victories together. We had a great group of guys that really worked together as a team.”

Jason Setterdahl (2-5) was the tough-luck losing pitcher for the Gaels, allowing only two hits and one earned run over five-plus innings. The freshman southpaw walked two and fanned one.

Setterdahl actually took a perfect game into the fifth.

“Jason gave us a nice performance on the mound,” said Shanks. “It’s too bad we couldn’t get him some more run support.”

All three Norsemen (26-13) scores came in the sixth after St. Edmond built a 1-0 edge in the third on a RBI double down the third base line by senior Aaron Chalstrom, bringing home junior Cal Coleman. Chalstrom also plated sophomore Matthew Bocken with a RBI single to center in the seventh.

“Aaron has been the heart and soul of our team,” Shanks said. “His will to win is second to none as evidenced by his (2013 Class 1A) state (singles) tennis championship.”

Chalstrom, a leadoff batter, finished 2-for-4 offensively. Flattery delivered three hits, while sophomore Ryan Szalat added two hits.

As a team, the Gaels left eight runners on base, including five in scoring position.

Alex Muhlenberg and Cole Birchmier each notched doubles for Roland-Story, while Evan Johnson and Andrew Schlatter chipped in singles. Tyler Hovick, Johnson and Schlatter knocked in a run apiece, while Zach Hovick, Johnson and Charlie Steenhagen all crossed the dish once.

Zach Hovick (6-4) went the distance in the win, yielding nine hits and two earned runs. He walked one and fanned six.

Chalstrom, Flattery, Tommy Setterdahl, Brady Reiling and Jordan Slotten wrapped up their Gael careers on the diamond. Over the past five years, SEHS has posted a combined 124-41 mark.

“Our five seniors will definitely be missed next year,” said Shanks. “We’ve got some good young guys coming back, but they need to physically develop and get bigger and stronger.”

Roland-Story advances to face South Central Calhoun (18-8) in a 2A, Substate 2 final Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in Carroll. The Titans moved on with a 4-2 triumph over Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto.