Dodgers split ranked baseball clash

WEST DES MOINES – The No. 7 (Class 4A) Fort Dodge baseball team secured a split early in their ranked clash at West Des Moines Dowling here Wednesday.

Senior JC Hatcher fired a four-hit shutout as the Dodgers (13-4 overall) blanked the third-rated Maroons (14-4) by a 6-0 count in the opener. Dowling returned the favor in the nightcap, prevailing in a 4-0 final.

Hatcher walked three and struck out four in the victory, and Fort Dodge backed him up with 11 hits offensively. Senior Andrew Stover and junior Austin Halligan recorded two hits each for the Dodgers, who received at least one hit from every player in the lineup.

”We played well in the first game,” FDSH head coach Blake Utley said. ”We were patient at the plate, which was good to see. JC had the kind of performance you’d look for from a senior leader on the road. He steps up in big moments.

”It was one of our more complete performances so far.”

The Dodger bats went silent in the second contest, as Josh Bisignano and Devin Benoit combined for a four-hit shutout of their own.

Sophomore Nate Kolacia (2-1) threw a complete game for FDSH but suffered his first loss on the mound.

”We saw two lefty starters, and (Bisignano) had a little more velocity and a little harder breaking stuff,” Utley said. ”We’re never satisfied with a split, but I thought we grew as a team with this experience and we’ll move on from here.”

Fort Dodge has a make-up single varsity contest at Mason City scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m.