Senior Eric Smorstad waits on a pitch in the sixth inning. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
The Decorah baseball team is looking to bring home some hardware.
A year removed from finishing second at the state baseball tournament, the Vikings are on pace to be back, and this time, they want to come home with the championship trophy.
The road to Principal Park was further paved Monday night as the Class 3A No. 10 Vikings (27-8) defeated Oelwein (22-11) 9-3 in the district final, held at Olejniczak Field in Decorah.
However, the Vikes had to wait 24 hours to find out who they would face in the substate final as the match between No. 6 Waverly-Shell Rock and No. 2 Clear Lake was delayed because of weather. Tuesday night Clear Lake (34-3) went on to defeat Waverly-Shell Rock (28-8) 8-6 in eight innings.
The only roadblock remaining in Decorah's journey to the elite eight is Clear Lake. The Vikes and Lions battled Wednesday night (July 24) in New Hampton in the substate final. Last season Decorah ended the Lions' season in the substate final 5-4 in extra innings.
Decorah will be aiming for its fourth state title in school history and first since 1991. Decorah is on an 11-game win streak.
From the first time they stepped on the field Monday night, the Vikings were ready and focused. They set the Huskies down in order in the first inning. To start the Decorah half of the frame, Collin Nimrod reached base on an error, advancing all the way to second base. With two outs, Josey Jewell smashed an RBI double to give the Vikes a 1-0 lead.
After another relatively easy inning, Decorah was back at it in the second. Kyle Kane reached base on an error, sending in courtesy runner Jake Hovden. Hovden stole third. With Cole Svestka at bat, the Vikes executed a perfect squeeze play to get a second run.
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