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Hedtke hurls Marion to historic victory

DES MOINES - Tyler Hedtke threw Storm Lake a curve Tuesday afternoon.

As a result, the Marion Indians are headed straight to the semifinals of the Class 3A state baseball tournament for the first time in school history.

Hedtke tossed a masterful two-hit shutout as the Indians blanked Storm Lake, 3-0, in the first round of the 3A state tournament at Principal Park.

Marion (27-16) will face top-ranked Solon (37-4) in the semifinals Friday at noon in a battle of Wamac Conference teams. Solon dumped Waukon, 11-0, in five innings Tuesday in the first round.

Hedtke, a crafty left-hander, kept Storm Lake off-balance with his roundhouse curveball and Marion's speedy outfielders ran down a string of fly balls. He struck out four batters and did not issue a single walk all day.

"The curveball was working pretty good," he said. "I seemed to find the zone most of the time. This team is a really good-hitting team, so if you catch them off-guard with the curveball it helps."

Hedtke got 11 outs on fly balls as Dusty Albaugh, Andrew Charipar and Josh Davila patrolled the spacious outfield at the Triple-A ballpark with style and grace.

"That really helps out," said Hedtke, who tied a school record with his 11th win of the season. "If they hit it out there, that's an out."

Hedtke let only one runner reach second base and went to a three-ball count on just two batters. He allowed two singles and hit a batter as Storm Lake had just three runners reach base.

"Hedtke did such a good job on the mound," said Marion Coach Steve Fish. "He just goes out and throws strikes. He throws the ball over the plate."

This is only Marion's second trip to the state tournament in school history. The Indians lost in the opening round in 2006 and now have their first win at the state tournament in school history.

"We looked up to those guys (in 2006) when we were in seventh and eighth grade," said Albaugh, who socked two doubles and drove in a run. "We watched those guys and we wanted to do the same that they did, but now we one-upped them. Hopefully they're proud of us for that."

The Indians scored all their runs in the top of the third inning. Byron Fish singled, took second on a sacrifice bunt by Davila and went to third on a single by Kasey Semler to get things started.

Semler stole second base and Fish scored when the catcher's throw sailed into center field. Semler scored on an RBI single by Zach Nielsen, and Nielsen scored on a long double to left-center by Albaugh.

Hedtke struck out four of the first six batters he faced, then pitched to contact the rest of the day. Storm Lake (26-9) put runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but Semler made a nice play on a hot grounder to second base to retire the side.

The Indians got a scare after that play when Semler reached the third-base dugout and nearly collapsed, apparently due to heat exhaustion on a steamy day in Des Moines.

"He came down the stairs and he kind of collapsed," said Coach Fish. "We had him on the ground. He felt dizzy, so we had ice and we're giving him food. We've got grapes, we've got ice on him, we're giving him cookies."

Fish, who normally coaches third base, stayed in the dugout with Semler during the top of the sixth and let assistant Tom Hauck coach at third base. Fish told freshman Christian Stekl to get ready to take Semler's place at second base in the bottom of the sixth, but Semler had other ideas. He popped up, grabbed his glove, fetched his cap and took the
field.

"I'm not going to miss this. No way," Semler said in the Marion locker room after the game. "I'm all right. It was a heat thing, or something like that."

Semler got hit in the head by a throw in the top of the fifth inning when he reached first base on a fielder's choice, but he didn't think that contributed to his medical problem.

Storm Lake pitcher Carsen Anderson (9-1) went the distance and suffered his only loss of the season.

Most of the Marion players shaved their heads Sunday night in support of assistant coach Hauck, whose mother is battling breast cancer and has lost her hair during chemotherapy treatments.

"It was so awesome that these guys did that," said Hauck. "It's a special group of kids we have here."

Sue Hauck, 61, was diagnosed with cancer about two months ago. "They caught it early enough that the doctors are giving her a very, very good chance," said Hauck, who has shaved his head as well. "She's battling hard."

Hauck said he's going to send his mother a picture of the clean-shaven Indians. It will be a picture of a happy club that's headed to the semifinals of the Class 3A state tournament.

Solon swept Marion in a Wamac Conference doubleheader this season. The Indians are excited about getting another chance against the Spartans, who won the Class 2A state title last year before advancing to Class 3A this season.

"I love it," Albaugh said. "I think we can hang with them. I want another shot."

MARION (3)
Semler, 2b, 3 1 1 0, Wagner, 3b, 3 0 1 0, Nielsen, ss, 3 1 1 1, Albaugh, rf, 3 0 2 1, Biery, 1b, 3 0 0 0, Johnson, c, 3 0 0 0, An. Charipar, cf, 3 0 0 0, Fish, dh, 3 1 1 0, Hedtke, p, 0 0 0 0, Davila, lf, 2 0 1 0. Totals 26 3 7 2.

STORM LAKE (0)
McCabe, ss, 3 0 0 0, Cone, 3b, 3 0 0 0, C. Anderson, p, 3 0 1 0, Russell, cr, 0 0 0 0, L. Anderson, rf, 3 0 0 0, Krier, 2b, 3 0 0 0, Kenkel, c, 3 0 0 0, Matavosky, 1b, 1 0 0 0, O'Brian, cf, 2 0 1 0, Seaman, lf, 2 0 0 0. Totals 23 0 2 0.

Marion            003 000 0 - 3 7 0
Storm Lake     000 000 0 - 0 2 1

Hedtke and Johnson. C. Anderson and Kenkel. W - Hedtke (11-3). L - C. Anderson (9-1). 2B - Albaugh 2. SB - Semler, Wagner.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 July 2011 19:19 )  

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