INDIANOLA — The Mason City baseball team is almost exactly where it wants to be.
The Mohawks topped Indianola 7-5 Tuesday night in a Class 4A substate semifinal to move within one win of the state tournament.
“They’re on the doorstep of where they want to be but they’re not there yet,” Mason City coach Troy Rood said. “The goal is to get to Principal Park and make a run from there.”
Thanks to a great start from Dylan Miller Tuesday night, the Mohawks were able build a sizable lead early.
Mason City scored three runs over the second and third innings before Indianola plated one in the bottom of the fourth.
The Mohawks had their answer in the top of the fifth when Weston Schultz launched a solo home run to swing the momentum back in favor of Mason City. Indianola answered again in the bottom of the inning, and then a three-run sixth had Mason City on top 7-2 with an inning to play.
On the mound, Miller allowed two runs on two hits, struck out two and walked four in 4⅔ innings.
“Dylan is poised beyond his year,” Rood said. “He doesn’t pitch like a sophomore and hasn’t all year. He gave us a great chance to win the way he competed.”
The Indians made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh when they put three runs on the board, but Mason City locked in to allow no more and help it move on.
Schultz, Dylan Voves, Josh VandenBerg and Bryce Butler had two hits apiece for the Mohawks, Jake Rood doubled, and Mac Skogen and Zach Hendrickson each had key RBI singles.
“We know Voves and Schultz will be there for us, but I thought the bottom of our order played a great game for the second time in a row,” Rood said. “That’s what we have to do when we’re missing an all-state player like Hunter (Dingman).”
Mason City will play at Ankeny Centennial today for a trip to the state tournament. The Mohawks come in with a 25-17 record while the Jaguars are 27-14.
“Our kids have just been resilient,” Rood said. “They have a rare opportunity to celebrate on two fields of opponents two nights in a row. They won’t be scared and they’ll go down and compete.”