Freshman catcher Tyler Hovick broke up a pitchers dual by driving in the go ahead run with a single in the top of the sixth inning as sixth ranked Roland-Story topped Mount Vernon 2-1 in a class 2A quarterfinal round game of the state baseball tournament. Junior pitcher Zach Hovick went the distance for Roland-Story and gave up five hits while striking out five as the Norseman claimed the school’s first state tournament victory.
He says the last time they were in the tourney was 1991 and they preached good defense this time and made some really good plays and he tried to throw strikes to get the ball into play.
Hovick says he relied primarily on his fastball, throwing the two-seam fastball that had some movement on it and did not throw many curveballs.
Despite taking the loss Mount Vernon’s Cal Kragenbrink was equally impressive. He gave up only four hits and at one point retired 16 straight batters. The Mustangs close out the season with a record of 26-15.
Top ranked Dyersville Beckman survived an upset bid by Waterloo Columbus. The Blazers scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth to post a 3-2 victory in a class 2A quarterfinal round game. Beckman coach Tom Jenk was not surprised it was a close game even though the Sailors enter the tournament with a record of 17-23.
“You play the regular season to play the districts and substates, and you play the districts and substates to play the state tournament. Everybody starts over at 0-0 and that’s what you’ve got to impress on young kids because they do look at papers and rankings and things like that,” Jenk says.
Columbus took the early lead by plating two runs in the top of the second but Jenk says his team never panicked. Columbus stayed in the hunt behind the dazzling pitching performance of Konnor Horan who gave up only four hits and did not allow a walk.