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FOREST CITY, Iowa – For the first time all season, the Waldorf baseball team got to play in baseball weather when they opened the North Star Athletic Association tournament Friday afternoon in Forest City.
The Warriors earned the fourth seed for their efforts in the regular season, matching them up with fifth-seeded Valley City State University. The two teams didn’t match up in the regular season because all four of the games scheduled were canceled due to weather.
Sam Jones got the start for Waldorf. Jones was two outs away from a no-hitter recently, and he was dealing throughout the game. He stifled the Vikings, allowing just four hits to four different VCSU hitters. He allowed no runs on those four hits and struck out 14 batters while walking none. Though he didn’t walk anyone, he did hit three batters and got close to hitting a fourth, which caused a brief verbal exchange between Valley City State manager Casey Olney and Waldorf pitching coach Casey Schuermann.
His dueling partner William Hlady tossed seven shutout innings and only allowed the games only run in the bottom of the eighth. And Waldorf had to use baseball strategy to score that run and win the game. The Warriors started the eighth with an Anthony Hibl single, followed by James Hook getting hit by a pitch. After missing the first time, Jake Denny got a sac bunt down and moved the runners to third and second with nobody out. Just in time for Waldorf senior Jake Fussy to smack a single to left field and scored Hibl. Unfortunately, the Warriors were unable to add on, putting the game back into Jones’ hands in the top of the ninth.
JOSH FUSSY, Waldorf senior full interview:
Jones picked up his 14th strikeout with no one out in the ninth, but the runner advanced on a passed ball and gave VCSU the tying runner on with no one out. Jones, though quickly got a ground ball, and the Warriors turned a double play to squash that threat. The Warriors retired the next batter and advanced to the next round of the NSAA tournament.
JOE TAUTGES, Waldorf head baseball coach, full interview :
Valley City State University falls to 21-21 on the season and will meet Presentation College tomorrow at 9 AM, with the loser ending their season.
Now 15-25, Waldorf advances to the quarterfinals, where they will meet the tournament favorite and national championship hopeful, Bellevue, at 4:00 PM with a spot in the semifinals on the line.