Mustangs win substate title
August 03, 2013 · Crystal Eskelsen
The Mount Vernon baseball team won its Class 2A substate final over Northeast Goose Lake in six innings, 10-0, Tuesday, July 23 in Solon.
The victory meant the Mustangs went on to the state tournament for the first time since 1999.
Playing in Principal Park in Des Moines Monday, Mount Vernon fell to Roland-Story in a closely contested first-round game.
The substate win came in almost perfect fashion. The game was played at Solon's new baseball field and the Mustangs looked sharp both on offense and defense.
"We executed our game plan to near perfection," said Jeremy Elliott, Mount Vernon head coach.
The Mustangs scored in each of the first three innings, including five runs in the second that put Northeast in a big hole.
The Rebels went through four pitchers in the first three innings as Mount Vernon hit just about everything.
Defensively the Mustangs made it look easy behind the confident pitching of Adam Ketelsen.
With a 7-0 lead Mount Vernon knew they just needed to add a couple of runs to end the game early and finally after two scoreless innings, they put three more runs on the board and finished off Northeast, 10-0.
Monday was a beautiful day for baseball and the Mustangs were excited to be competing in the state tournament for the first time in 14 years.
Mount Vernon was seeded No. 4 in the Class 2A tournament and faced fifth-seeded Roland-Story Monday in the opener.
The Norsemen would end up winning the pitchers' dual by a score of 2-1, ending the Mustangs' state tournament much sooner than they would have liked.
Roland-Story scored first in the top of the opening inning when Zach Hovick singled, then advanced on a ground out and a wild pitch to get to third. Then Norseman Evan Johnson hit a sacrifice fly, bringing Hovick home and giving the Norsemen a 1-0 lead.
Mount Vernon tied the game in the bottom of the fourth when catcher Connor Welch singled and proceeded to steal second. Welch then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and finally scored on a suicide squeeze laid down by Jake Pisarik. This evened the score at 1-1.
The Mustang defense continued to hold Roland-Story scoreless through four straight innings. At one point pitcher Cal Kragenbrink retired 16 straight Norse batters.
Then in the top of the sixth inning Roland-Story's Alex Urbanek doubled and Hovick singled. With two runners on base and just one out, Norseman Tyler Hovick hit an RBI single that put Roland-Story ahead 2-1.
The seventh inning was scoreless for both teams leading to a final score of 2-1 in favor of Roland-Story, ending Mount Vernon's season with an overall record of 26-15.
There were nine hits in the game, five earned by the Mustangs. Mount Vernon left eight runners stranded on base throughout the game.
"I am extremely proud of these young men," Elliott said. "Their hard work through the season culminated with a great run in the postseason and a trip to the state tournament."
The Mustangs lose five seniors to graduation this year - Cal Kragenbrink, Collin Smith, Connor Welch, Lucas Hansen and CJ Eldred.
"The seniors have established a solid foundation for Mount Vernon baseball," Elliott said. "Now it's up to the current and incoming players to build on it. The future looks bright."
Mount Vernon vs. Roland-Story
First round of Class 2A state tournament
R-S 2, MV 1
RS 100 001 0 2 4 0
MV 000 100 0 1 5 0
Pitchers: Hovick (RS), Kragenbrink (MV)
Mount Vernon vs. Northeast
MV 10, NE 0
MV 151 003 10 11
NE 000 000 0 3
Pitchers: Ketelsen (MV), Dickey (NE)
Extra base hits
2B-Ryan 1, Welch 1