WEBSTER CITY - Three outs away from taking a major step in the direction of the state championship game, the Webster City Little League All-Stars appeared to have fate pushing them forward yesterday evening at Lynx Field.
Urbandale looked at fate and kicked it square in the teeth.
And just like that - in an instant - the high-fives and smiles switched dugouts.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City Little League All-Stars base runner Cory Keenan undercuts Urbandale shortstop Michael Van Riessen as he slides into second with a stolen base yesterday at Lynx Field. WCLL led 9-6 in the seventh inning, but Urbandale rallied to win 10-9 at the Junior Division State Tournament.
Trailing 9-6 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, Urbandale put seven consecutive runners aboard and scored four runs without recording an out to rally past WCLL, 10-9, in pool play at the Junior Division State Tournament.
Tied at 9 and with the bases stuffed, No. 9 hitter Hank Puckett - named the game's Most Valuable Player - lined an Alec Fuhs offering past the drawn-in infield and into left field to bring Trey Cowley trotting to the plate with the winning run.
Urbandale moved to 2-0 and is the lone unbeaten in the field of five. WCLL slipped to 1-1 entering today's 5:30 p.m. contest against Indianola.
Webster City201 042 0- 9 8 2
Urbandale402 000 4-10 16 4
Colt Richardson, Drew Fielder (1), Alec Fuhs (7) and Jordan Moen, Avery Fuhs (5). Brendan McGuire, Ross Kramer (5), Keegan Perez (7) and Trevor Kimm. W-Perez. L-Al. Fuhs. 2B-URB: McGuire. RBI-WC: Al. Fuhs, Fielder (3), Tanner Crouch, Sean Vogelbacher; URB: Cody Pearson, Trey Cowley, McGuire (2), Brady Nichols (2), Hank Puckett.
"I thought we had them, I really did," WCLL coach Chad Vogelbacher said. "The kids are disappointed, but I hope they're not too far down because this is a round-robin format and we still have games to play. If we play well these next two games then we may have a chance at (Urbandale) again (in the championship game on Thursday)."
Fuhs took over for Drew Fielder after Fielder gave up a walk and base hit early in the seventh. Fielder worked 52?3 innings, but was unable to finish due to the pitch count rule.
Cowley also had an RBI single for Urbandale in the seventh, and Brady Nichols drew his team even when he drew a bases loaded walk from Fuhs.
Urbandale rattled off 16 hits; Puckett went 3-for-3, while Cowley and Cody Pearson were both 3-for-4. Brendan McGuire had the game's only extra-base hit - a third-inning RBI double to left-center - and he finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
WCLL had eight hits, keyed by two each from Fielder, Tanner Crouch and Cory Keenan.
Fielder collected three RBIs and scored two runs. A grounder up the middle brought Avery Fuhs to the dish in the fifth - an inning in which WCLL scored four times to jump in front 7-6. Fielder hit a bloop single into center an inning later to bring Collin Oswald and Avery Fuhs in to push the advantage to 9-6.
WCLL scored twice in its opening at bat - Crouch provided an RBI base knock - but Urbandale answered with four in the bottom of the first. It was 6-2 in Urbandale's favor after two.
Fielder allowed 10 hits and three earned runs to go along with four strikeouts during his stint on the bump. He was helped out by a ball-hawking defense that turned three double plays in the middle innings.
WCLL committed just two errors in the game, compared to four for Urbandale.
"We looked a lot sharper (defensively) than we did in our first game," Vogelbacher said. "We had them on the ropes and we can play with them. That means we believe that we can play with anybody here."
Sean Vogelbacher added an RBI single in the fifth for WCLL, and Alec Fuhs picked up an RBI on a ground out in the same inning.