FORT DODGE - Fourth-ranked (Class 2A) Fort Dodge St. Edmond was on the ropes, but Webster City was unable to land the knockout punch in the North Central Conference opener for both teams Friday night at the Rogers Sports Complex.
Down 2-0 and staring at their first deficit of the season, the Gaels (4-0, 1-0 NCC) responded with single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to deny the Lynx (1-2, 0-1 NCC), 3-2.
Tommy Setterdahl smacked a walk-off single to center field off WCHS senior right-handed pitcher Jonny Davis, scoring Nate Kolacia with the winning run with two outs in the seventh.
"We had (St. Edmond) on the ropes and I guess that's always a positive thing, but this is one we definitely wanted," WCHS head coach Seth McGrane said. "We're not satisfied just being in the game for seven innings."
Davis went to his curve ball throughout the contest to keep the potent Gaels' lineup off balance. He struck out four and walked four, and limited St. Edmond to just six hits. Only one of the Gaels' runs was earned.
"Jonny was tremendous, and that's what we needed," McGrane said. "But had we done our job (in the sixth inning), we wouldn't have had to face the top of their lineup again and we would have been out of there with a 2-1 win. Against a good team like that, you're not going to get away with things like that."
Webster City000 200 0-2 4 1
St. Edmond000 011 1-3 6 3
Jonny Davis and Alex Oswald. David Flattery and Matthew Bocken. W-Flattery. L-Davis. RBI-WCHS: Nelson Ball; SE: Nate Kolacia, Tommy Setterdahl.
WCHS scored both of its runs in the fourth frame. Dylan Fielder drew a lead-off walk, moved all the way to third on a throwing error and trotted home on a passed ball for the game's first run. Alex Oswald later reached on an error, and came home after a Nelson Ball single got by the Gaels' defense.
Ball and Trey Tesdahl both finished 2 for 3 at the dish. Fielder and Ben Mossman also singled.
St. Edmond hurler David Flattery fanned 10 batters, five of them looking at the third strike.
"We need to put the ball in play and we can't have those easy outs," McGrane said. "We also need to work on knowing the (strike) zone better and if we go down we need to go down swinging."