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North Mahaska used a game of small ball and speed on the bases to top Melcher-Dallas 9-2 in the opening round of the Class 1A District 13 tournament. North Mahaska will return to Bussey on Tuesday to take on Twin Cedars (15-12), who defeated Seymour 15-0 Saturday.

North Mahaska’s experience was too much for the youthful Saints. Melcher-Dallas fielded two seniors and the rest of the lineup were sophomores, freshmen and eighth graders. North Mahaska stole seven bases in the contest and took advantage of several bunts to move runners but were able to beat out a pair of the bunts to set up scoring opportunities.

NM plated a run on the first inning then added four more in the second. Another run scored in the third as NM led 6-0. In the top of the fourth, Melcher-Dallas received a double by Evan Schrader, who advanced to third on a balk by starting pitcher Nolan Andersen.

Relief pitcher Jack Kelderman gave up a long flyout which scored Schrader. NM answered with a run of their own after Nate Sampson walked and stole his second base of the night. An error moved him to third and he scored on Lucas Nunnikhoven’s groundout.

Melcher-Dallas (4-16) looked like may start a comeback with Easton Juline’s single. However, Sampson ended that threat quickly. He fielded Mason DeJong’s drive to the left of second base, tagged the bag and threw to first baseman Andersen to clear the bases.

“That was a big play for us,” said NM coach Kevin Kelderman. “We needed to keep our momentum and that play certainly helped.

“We did enough to get by. Getting those runs in the second inning allowed us to play with the lead. We were able to get the ball down on bunts and run. It was nice to get production from some other people.”

The lower half of the lineup accounted for all seven hits. Kelderman hit two singles and Carter Lake hit two and drove in two runs. Jaxon Vander Veer, Charlie Goemaat and Hunter Wernli hit singles.

Player sliding into home-plate.

RD Keep/North Mahaska Communications
North Mahaska senior Carter Lake slides into home for a score in the Warhawks’ 9-2 opening round tourney win over Melcher-Dallas.

North Mahaska (11-14) plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to give the Warhawks a 9-1 lead. In the Saints’ half of the seventh, a walk, groundout and wild pitch set up another scoring opportunity. A two-out single by Reece Chiabotta scored a run then Kelderman struck out the final batter to secure the victory.

Andersen earned the win on the mound going 3 1/3 innings. He allowed a run on three hits and two walks. He struck out five. Kelderman pitched in relief allowing a run on two hits, two walks, a hit batsman and five strikeouts.

Chiabotta led Melcher-Dallas with pair of singles and an RBI. DeJong took the loss. He pitched five innings allowing seven runs on six hits with six walks and a hit batsman. He struck out five. Chiabotta worked the last inning giving up two runs on a hit and two hit batsmen.

Player bunting

Ryan Groom of North Mahaska puts down a bunt to move runners to help the Warhawks to a 9-2 Class 1A baseball tourney win over Melcher-Dallas.

Game time for Tuesday is 7 p.m. Twin Cedars defeated North Mahaska in June 10-7. Twin Cedars leads the series 7-6.