STREAK TO 3
WEBSTER CITY – Dylan Fielder had to be hot. Miserably hot.
Wearing a long-sleeve undershirt on a muggy, 90-degree day might not have been the smartest decision, but on the mound and at the plate the Webster City junior was as cool as a cucumber against Algona at Lynx Field.
Fielder worked six solid innings on the mound, belted a pair of doubles and drove in four runs to propel the Lynx to a 12-4 victory – their third straight over the past six days.
He was drenched – and I mean drenched – in sweat afterwards, but it was well worth it.
“It was pretty hot out there, especially once I started pitching, but once I got back to the dugout I was able to cool off,” Fielder said.
Fielder gave up six hits and six walks against just one strikeout, but his defense was solid and WCHS (5-11, 3-6 NCC) had more than enough offense to finish off the two-game season sweep of Algona (8-11, 3-7 NCC), which has lost eight straight contests after beginning the season 8-3.
“We’ve been able to click as one team and we’ve been trusting the defense lately,” Fielder said. “Earlier in the season our pitchers weren’t trusting the defense as much, but now you don’t care where it’s hit.”
Nelson Ball, Ben Mossman and Tyler Lockwood all laced two hits. Ball and Lockwood both had doubles; Mossman scored three runs and Lockwood drove in one.
Doug Stoakes added a single and two RBIs. Daniel Halko had a hit and RBI and Cal Zahn drove in a run.
Ahead 6-1 entering the sixth inning, Fielder lost his control for a period in the top of the frame and allowed the Bulldogs to score three runs to trim their deficit to 6-4. They scored one run on a bases-loaded walk and another when Fielder plunked a batter with the sacks full.
But rather than wilt, the Lynx responded with six runs in their half of the sixth to put it out of reach.
“The biggest thing is once they got three (runs) and all of a sudden it got tight at 6-4, we responded with six runs,” WCHS head coach Troy Smock said. “Earlier in the year those things were happening to us and now we’re making them happen. Now we’re getting hits and turning singles into doubles.”
Ball opened the sixth-inning surge with a double to left field. Mossman followed with a line-drive single and they both scored when Fielder went the other way with an Austin Long offering into the gap in right-center for a two-RBI double.
Halko laid down a RBI sacrifice bunt down the first base line and reached on an error. He slid in safely to the dish later in the inning on a base knock off the bat of Lockwood.
Cole Reigelsberger took the ball from Fielder in the seventh and sat the Bulldogs down in order.
WCHS remains in last place in the conference standings, but the Lynx are suddenly a dangerous team for anyone with title aspirations.
“We’re playing well right now,” Fielder said. “We have no shot at the (NCC) title, but we can ruin some other (teams’) chances of winning it.”
WCHS will stay at home tonight to take on Fort Dodge St. Edmond. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.