WEBSTER CITY - Nerves schmerves.
The Webster City All-Stars came to hit yesterday evening during its opening game of the Junior Division State Tournament at Lynx Field, and it wasn't just a couple of players doing damage.
It was the entire team.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Alec Fuhs slides into the plate ahead of the tag of Sergeant Bluff pitcher Chris Kroll during the sixth inning of yesterday evening’s pool game of the State Little League Tournament at Lynx Field. Fuhs and the Webster City All-Stars decimated Sergeant Bluff, 17-2 in 6 innings, to open their tournament run.
Webster City rattled off 17 hits from 10 different players in a 17-2, 6-inning pummeling of Sergeant Bluff, as the host club saw its confidence soar with each inning.
"This was a great start to the tournament and hopefully we'll keep it going for the next three days," WCLL head coach Chad Vogelbacher said. "We hit the ball really well. I wasn't exactly sure what we'd do, but we really came around and hit their guys."
You can say that again.
Webster City034 136-17 17 5
Sergeant Bluff010 010- 2 3 7
Colt Richardson, Avery Fuhs (2), Drew Fielder (5), Alec Fuhs (6) and Fielder, Jordan Moen (3). Dylan Moore, Chris Kroll (5), Ryley McGregor (6) and Tyler Stoltze. W-Av. Fuhs. L-Moore. 2B-WC: Moen. 3B-WC: Sean Vogelbacher. RBI-WC: Collin Oswald (2), Al. Fuhs (2), Fielder (2), Tanner Crouch (2), Vogelbacher (2), Moen, Cory Keenan, Riley Mishler; SB:Brady Click, Kroll.
Alec Fuhs went 3-for-5 with two runs batted in and two runs scored out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. Collin Oswald, Drew Fielder, Tanner Crouch, Sean Vogelbacher and Riley Mishler all smoked two hits, as Webster City rolled through three Sergeant Bluff pitchers.
WCLL put up three runs in the second inning and four more in the third to jump out to a 7-1 lead. It was 11-2 after five innings before WCLL reeled off six more in the sixth to put Sergeant Bluff away an inning early.
The bottom of the order got it done early, as Nos. 6 through 9 hitters Colt Richardson, Cory Keenan and Mishler accounted for three hits and six runs in the initial three innings. Mishler roped singles to left in the second and third.
"We've got good hitting from everybody, including our subs, and that's why we're tough," Chad Vogelbacher said.
Fielder and Crouch ripped back-to-back RBI singles to the left side in the top of the fifth inning to push WCLL out to an 11-1 lead.
Sergeant Bluff staved off the 10-run rule - for a little while at least - in the fifth, but all that did was allow WCLL another chance to pile it on.
Reserve Landon Daniels ignited the sixth-inning surge with a one-out base knock to left. Alec Fuhs, Fielder and Crouch all bashed RBI singles later in the frame, and Sean Vogelbacher opened the floodgate with a 2-RBI triple into the gap in right-center. Jordan Moen followed his lead with a RBI double to left-center moments later.
Oswald, Fielder, Crouch and Sean Vogelbacher all joined Alec Fuhs with two RBIs.
Avery Fuhs picked up the win on the mound for WCLL, as the right-hander worked 3 2/3 innings of two-hit ball. He gave up just one earned run.
WCLL used four pitchers in all; Colt Richardson started, while Fielder and Alec Fuhs both followed Avery Fuhs. Richardson and Fielder both threw just 20 pitches, thus they'll be able to pitch again today if needed when WCLL faces Urbandale at 5:30 p.m.
Sergeant Bluff finished with just three hits - all singles.
"Avery threw great and that's what we were counting on," Chad Vogelbacher said. "He was essentially our starting pitcher, and now we can use Colt and Drew again (today)."
The coach says it will only get tougher from here against Urbandale, followed by games against Dubuque and Indianola.
"All of the games will be a challenge," he said. "I don't know who's better, but every team here can probably beat one another, so we've just been stressing one game at a time."
WCLL and Urbandale are both 1-0 in pool play. Dubuque and Indianola are 1-1, while Sergeant Bluff is now 0-2.
The tournament will culminate with the state championship game Thursday evening.