The Roland-Story baseball team rolled through Woodward Academy en route to a 10-0, six-inning win on Saturday in the first round of Class 2A district play.
The Norsemen led the overmatched Knights 5-0 for much of the game before scoring five runs in the sixth inning to end the game via 10-run rule.
Saturday's performance was exactly the type the Norsemen wanted before a third matchup against Heart of Iowa Conference rival PCM, which has beaten Roland-Story twice this season, 5-2 and 2-1.
“At this point in time, you just want to move on, and tonight we were fortunate enough to be able to do that,” Roland-Story coach Chris Hill said. “PCM has gotten us twice this year. We know they're a very good team, they're a well-coached team, we've got to make sure that on Monday and Tuesday we get ourselves cleaned up and make sure that we're throwing well and playing good defense.”
The Norsemen did both of those things well on Saturday. Zach Twedt pitched a complete-game, one-hit shutout, and the Norsemen committed just one error.
They were also able to capitalize on a pair of Knights errors in the first inning, which led to a pair of runs. Zach Shadlow, the Norsemen designated hitter reached on the first error, and Nathan Bell drew a walk. Caleb Schlatter drew the second error on the next Norsemen at bat, which scored both Shadlow and Bell.
Bell punctuated the win with a towering two-run home run to left center in the third inning.
But Bell, even after a home run and a run-rule victory, saw room for improvement ahead of a third matchup with the Mustangs.
“I think we could do a little better Tuesday, get the bat going more and the fielding a little better,” he said. “I made an error at third but I can clean that up. We've still got to play baseball, get the bat on the ball, field it cleanly and just do everything right.”
The sixth inning of Saturday's game saw the Norsemen score five times on one-run plays.
Jakob Pitman led off with a walk and scored on a double by Nick Stole. From there, the cogs in the wheel got rolling.
Two walks followed Stole's double, then a trio of RBI singles gave the Norsemen a 9-0 lead. A bases-loaded walk to Zach Magnuson forced in Shadlow to end the game.
At-bats were a high point for the Norsemen Saturday, as they have been inconsistent at the plate this season.
The year hasn't panned out how most in the program had hoped, but the Norsemen are still alive and heading into the second round of districts.
“This year has been a struggle for us,” Hill said. “We've had a hard time figuring out what type of team we're going to be. There's things that we're aware of that we don't do the best but we're going to try to control the things we can control and keep ourselves in ball games.”
Roland-Story 10, Woodward Academy 0
Woodward Academy 000 000 — 0 1 2
Roland-Story 302 005 — 10 12 1
WP: Zach Twedt. LP: Jacob Kerr.