Ogden squeezes past PCM 6-5, steals trip to state
WEST DES MOINES — Throughout most of the game, it seemed that Prairie City-Monroe was bound to send yet another team to a state tournament. However, one flip of the ball changed that thought.
Leading 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Mustangs fell victim to a suicide squeeze and aggressive base running to fall to Ogden by a final score of 6-5 in a Class 2A substate final at Dowling Catholic High School Tuesday night.
“We don’t ever want to come out on the bottom end of a game, but I’m extremely proud of all of our seniors and all the other players on our team,” PCM coach Shaun Hudnut said. “After the game I told them it’s just one game in what they’ve done, which is really set the bar for what we want our program to look like.”
The start of the game appeared to be a pitchers’ duel as PCM’s Alex DeWitte and Ogden’s Josh Turner each had quick first innings. PCM was able to squeeze the game’s first run through in the second when senior Bryce Wignall reached on an error and eventually scored when he came home on a double steal a few at-bats later.
It was all Mustangs in their halves of the third and fourth. Senior Bo Clymer delivered a two-run double to score fellow senior Hutch Burns and junior Nate Vande Wall in the third, then DeWitte helped his own cause with a towering two-run single in the top of the fourth. DeWitte’s single chased Turner from the game and gave the Mustangs all the momentum they could’ve asked for. Ogden wasn’t ready to give in, however.
“We felt it was important to jump up and get some runs on Turner because he’s an excellent pitcher,” Hudnut said. “We were fortunate to do that by forcing them into some bad plays, then we got some clutch hits to drive a few in.”
After multiple errors and poor execution on the basepaths, the Bulldogs got their act together in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs and the bases loaded, Wyatt Westberg drew a hit-by-pitch to score Ogden’s first run and was followed up by an RBI single from Michael Ryan. Freshman Cayce Good then officially re-introduced the Bulldogs to the game with a two-run single that sent DeWitte back to the dugout and put Ogden down just one run at 5-4.
That score would remain on the scoreboard for the next two innings, which took more than hour to play due to a number of hit-by-pitches and full counts for both teams. PCM left a runner on third in the fifth and the bases loaded in the sixth, unable to figure out Ogden’s third pitcher of the game, Preston Church. PCM senior reliever Joel Wiggins was dialed in as well, however, striking out four between the two innings.
With the Mustangs going quietly in the top of the seventh, it was do or die time for the Bulldogs. Cayce Good led off with a walk before advancing to second on a passed ball, and Cody Good sent him to third on an infield single in the next at-bat. Wiggins got a huge strikeout of Turner after a marathon at-bat for the first out, but Ogden would make their decisive move directly after.
Ogden senior Adam Adreon showed bunt from the very first pitch he saw, but the Mustangs weren’t quite able to defend it when he laid down a perfect one just in front of home plate. With Cayce Good charging in from third, the ball was flipped over Vande Wall’s head, allowed him to score. Cody Good, who came all the way around from first, slid in before a tag could be applied and touched off Ogden’s celebration of their first state appearance since 1999.
“We were in one of our coverages, they reacted to it and unfortunately we flipped the ball over the catcher’s head,” Hudnut said. “That’s just how baseball goes sometimes.”
It was a tough ending for an otherwise extremely successful season for PCM athletics, and especially its senior class. The Mustangs finished the baseball season 21-11.
Ogden 6, PCM 5
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
P — 0 1 2 2 0 0 0 5 4 2
O — 0 0 0 4 0 0 2 6 6 4
WP: Church, LP: Wiggins
PCM hitting: Clymer 1x3 (2 RBI, BB, SB), DeWitte 1x2 (2 RBI, 2B), Wignall 0x2 (2 BB, 2 R, SB)