Bishop Heelan advanced to the Iowa state baseball tournament with a 4-3 win over Le Mars Wednesday night at Lewis & Clark Park.
Tyler Stolen scattered five runs and gave up three hits in the win for the Crusaders.
After a scoreless first, Heelan opened the scoring in the second. Following a leadoff walk and double to start the inning, Kyle Heaton drove in Philip Jacobson on a sac-fly to give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead.
Two batters later Connor Niles singled home Trenton Solsma to put Heelan up 2-0.
Le Mars answered with a run of its own on Mitch Timp's sac-fly to make it a one run ball game.
The Bulldogs added two more in the third on an RBI single from Kendall Candor and one a fielders choice to give Le Mars a 3-2 lead.
Two innings later the Crusaders took advantage of a Bulldog error to tie the game up at 3.
In the 6th, Heaton led the inning off with a double. Blasting a high fly ball to right, Levi Tebrink lost the ball in sun. Heaton later moved to third on a sac-fly.
With two outs in the inning, Tony Myers singled back up the middle driving in Heaton to give Heelan a 4-3 lead.
"I just thought if we could get one run, that's all we'd need," Stolen said. "I'll put them away after that. We just needed one run and Tony came up with a big hit. A big hit.""
The junior lefty sat down the dogs in order in the bottom of the seventh, securing the Crusaders first berth in the state tournament since 2007.
"Yeah, it's an unbelievable feeling. We've worked so hard for this," added senior Paul Jacobson. "And, we've had the Storm Lake game in our minds from last year, you know, all season long and it's been pushing us. We didn't want to let it happen again. Credit Le Mars, they played us tough tonight but, it finally feels good to get to Des Moines and play at Principal Park."
"Tyler struggled early on. Didn't have command of all his pitches like he has all season, but, he seemed to be getting the later we got into the game," head coach Andy Osborne said. "He really played well and he's the best we've got. He's the guy we want on the mound in those situations and he came through big for us tonight."
In class 4A Sioux City East fell to No. 4 Fort Dodge 7-2. The Black Raiders finish the season with a 34-9 record, winning 22 of their final 24 games.
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