FOREST CITY | When Forest City baseball coach Jeff Jerome is asked to describe what has been the key to the Indians remarkable run this season, the word “consistent” comes up frequently.
“We have been consistent in most areas of the game,” Jerome said. “We have pitchers who throw strikes consistently, and we have played consistent defense.”
In Saturday’s Class 2A district final against Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, Forest City’s consistency was again on display as the Indians notched their third consecutive shutout, 5-0 to move to within one game of the state tournament.
It was the 12th shutout of the season for Forest City.
The win also marks the 19th straight victory for the 26-3 Indians.
As it has so frequently this season, Forest City jumped out early with single runs in each of the first three innings.
Ben Midtgaard doubled in Jordan Spooner for the game’s first run, and Ryan Saarie added an RBI double in the second.
Midtgaard, who walked with one out in the third, scored on an RBI single by Blaze Anderson in the third.
The runs were more than enough for Colton Shipman, who entered the game with 0.75 ERA through 56 innings pitched.
Shipman held the Cardinals to just four hits and struck out 10 through 6⅔ innings.
He walked none and was supported by error-free defense.
Midtgaard struck out the final batter of the game to secure the win for Forest City.
“Last year, going out in the first round sucked,” Midtgaard said. “We wanted to get that monkey off our back.”
Midtgaard was 3 for 3 with two doubles and a run driven in to lead the Indians’ offensive effort.
Spooner had a single and scored twice.
Five different Forest City players drove in runs.
“This has been such a great group of guys who get along with each other,” Jerome said. “They have such positive energy. It has been a lot of fun.”
Cade Bamrick doubled to open the game for GHV.
Landon Dalbeck, Ryan Meyers and Ryley Kozisek all had singles for the Cardinals.
Forest City advances to Tuesday’s substate final Fort Dodge where the Indians will Face Carroll Kuemper for a spot in the Class 2A state tournament.
Kuemper defeated Alta-Aurelia 8-7 on Saturday.