Decorah senior Jacob Kvale (No. 5) is comforted by teammate Cole Svestka (No. 8) after Wednesday’s loss in the substate final. Also pictured are, from left - Aaron Syverson, Connor Gossman, Eric Syverson. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
The door was open.
Having battled from behind the entire substate final game Wednesday in New Hampton, the Class 3A No. 10 Decorah baseball team had a chance to take the lead in the final half inning and punch a ticket to the state baseball tournament for the second year in a row.
Instead, a strike out and a pop out ended the game with the bases loaded as Class 3A No. 2 Clear Lake (35-5) defeated the Vikes 6-3.
Decorah ended the year 27-9.
Clear Lake, which last year had its season end in the substate final at the hands of the Vikings, earned the No. 6 seed and faces No. 3 seed Chariton (35-5) today, Tuesday, July 30, at Principal Park in Des Moines.
"This is a game that we just never got into the real flow of how we play. All the support we get from each other that we just kind of take and get into the flow of the game when someone's taking off, then somebody else seemingly gets those vibes that they start doing real good things too. We never got into the flow of the game," said Coach Dennis Olejniczak, who's led the Vikings for 50 seasons and has brought home three state titles.
Playing from behind
Clear Lake came out of the gates strong Wednesday night. Gavin Sheakley led off by reaching base with an error. A single left runners on first and second. A force out put runners on the corners. With two outs due to a strike out, Brandon Tofte smoked a two RBI single. It was followed by an RBI double, giving Clear Lake a 3-0 lead.
After Decorah went down in order in the bottom of the first. With two outs in the top of the second, Sheakley smashed a solo home run over the right field fence, giving the Lions a 4-0 lead.
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