ADM baseball downs North Polk, claws their way to a substate final berth

Andrew Brown - Sports Reporters
Chase Anderson strikes out six in the Substate semi-final Monday, July 20 against North Polk. PHOTO BY ANDREW BRONW/DALLAS COUNTY NEWS

The claws were out and the field was set for the ADM Tiger baseball team as they battled in the Class 3A Substate 7 semi-final against North Polk Monday night in Adel. What was thought to be a slugfest heading into the game turned out to be an ADM showcase only as the host Tigers bested the visiting Comets in five innings 11-1.

“It was an awesome win here tonight,” began head coach Jason Book. “Anytime you can get yourself into a substate final, you have a chance to get to the state tournament.”

A big theme for ADM this season has been scoring in bunches having scored three or more runs in 12 separate innings across the 2020 campaign. Monday night in Adel, the visiting Comets came in averaging just five runs allowed per game. Then they took on the Tigers and fans watched ADM plate all eleven runs scored across just two innings of action.

Following just one hit across the first two innings, the third inning held a lot of offense for ADM as four hits helped to push across five third-inning runs for the Tigers. Lucas Curry picked up his 11th hit of the season to kick off the inning. That was followed by Cole Williamson who became ADM’s leader in being hit by a pitch with his fourth on the season. That then set the stage for Chase Anderson who was a huge part of ADM’s win, striking his first of two hits on the night with a double to left field to give ADM their first lead of the game 2-0. Fellow seniors Zach Fuller and Kaden Sutton traded doubles to plate one run each while one of two third inning North Polk errors plated yet another run for the home town Tigers, who led 5-0 heading into the fourth inning. It was a lead ADM has seen before in past games and one that Anderson himself was happy to see while performing the pitching duties as well.

“By the fourth inning when we were up 5-0, I felt pretty comfortable and in the zone,” said Anderson.

ADM wasn’t done there however as the Tiger bats found paydirt once more with six runs in the bottom of the fourth courtesy of five hits. The first six batters that stood in the batter’s box reached base safely before an out could be recorded by the Comets. Variety was the name of the game in that inning as an intentional walk, a bunt hit, and a bases-loaded walk accompanied the five fourth-inning hits by ADM.

Ethan Juergens kicked off the inning with his second double of the season which was promptly followed by a Curry walk. Williamson executed a solid bunt that plated the first run of the inning for a 6-0 advantage. Along with Williamson scoring on a passed ball, Anderson picked up his third of three RBI for the game, giving him 11 RBI total on the season. Fuller, Sutton, and Grant Garton joined in on the fourth-inning scoring efforts plating back to back to back runs via their 11th, 13th, and 9th RBI’s of the season respectively.

“We played just a really great team baseball game,” began Book. “The guys had a great approach to the plate tonight and we took advantage of our opportunities whether it was using the bunt game or we had a few balls just drop in (for hits) and that was our night tonight.”

Out in the field, ADM put their claws into the North Polk offense, cutting down their average of eight hits per contest to a mere four Monday night. A big part of that goes back to the pitching performance put forth by Anderson. Matching his productivity at the plate, the senior sat down six North Polk batters via strikeout on the night. Along with four fly-outs, it was a night worth noting for Anderson who had what he needed working to keep a normally potent North Polk offense at bay.

“The curveball was definitely the big thing that was working for me tonight,” began Anderson. “That’s my go-to pitch when I need a strike and it was working today.”

Anderson walked off the mound for the final time on Monday night without having given up an earned run as the only plated run for the Comets came on an error.

“Chase did a good job of just being around the strike zone,” said Book of Anderson’s performance. “He kept North Polk off balance and they didn’t really get a lot of hard swings off of him. Just being in the strike zone consistently is a huge advantage in giving more options to use.”

Just a year ago, it was Anderson’s diving stop which saved a potential run in Dallas Center that helped move the Tigers on to the Substate final. On Monday in Adel, he performed just as strong on the mound to help send ADM to their second straight Substate final. Overall, the ADM southpaw pitched with precision, allowing just four batters total on the night to force the senior to throw five pitches or more in a single at-bat.

The eleven runs for ADM marks one of the most runs plated in a substate semi-final for the Tigers in over ten years. ADM now bolsters their overall record to 11-7 and will get the chance to host one more game at Tiger Field in 2020 as they host conference foe Bondurant-Farrar Wednesday, July 22. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.