The Mason City baseball team jumped out to a 7-4 mark to start the season largely by defeating the teams that, on paper, it should have beaten while falling to stronger teams.
The Mohawks were in need of a statement, and that is just what they got on Wednesday with a doubleheader sweep of fourth-rated (4A) Waukee.
Harrison Nagel shut down a potent Warrior offense for most of the opener as he help Waukee scoreless until the seventh inning in an 8-1 Mason City romp in game one.
The Mohawks followed with a dramatic 6-5 win in the nightcap to improve to 9-4.
“We play against the best every night,” Mason City coach Troy Rood said. “I thought we competed really well at Southeast Polk on Monday, and that gave the kids some confidence.”
Nagel allowed just six hits while throwing a complete game in the opener, and the senior pitcher got plenty of offensive support, particularly from Avery Mellman.
Mellman led off the game with a double and scored the opening run in the first, and then followed with a solo home run to center field in the third.
Carter Thomas, a freshman, also had three hits while adding some solid defense in center field.
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The second game was a back-and-forth affair but was tied at five entering the bottom of the seventh.
With the bases loaded and two out, Thomas laced a single to left to score Mellman from third for the Mohawk sweep.
Derek Dalen threw a complete game to pick up the win for Mason City.
Alex Golf, a sophomore, drove in three while Ben Pederson had a key two-run single.
A big key for the Mohawks all night was the speed and aggressiveness on the base paths as Waukee committed several errors while trying to keep Mohawk runners in check.
“We have really re-emphasized the running game this year,” Rood said. “We need to keep putting pressure on the defense.”
Mason City returns to action on Friday when it will face Pleasant Valley.