America's favorite pastime has always been baseball.
Like many places throughout the Midwest, children in Bancroft, Iowa, start playing baseball and softball at a young age.
For North Union junior Sawyer Doocy, it was no different.
WAITING — North Union batter Sawyer Doocy awaits a delivery during Iowa regular-season prep baseball action on June 21 in Bancroft, Iowa, as Central Springs catcher Colton Kisner looks on. Doocy went on to collect three hits and four RBIs in the game.
Doocy has helped guide the Warriors to a 26-6 overall record and into the Iowa Class 2A, District 2 baseball final at 7 p.m. tonight against Alta/ Aurelia in Emmetsburg, Iowa.
For the season, Doocy is hitting .406 with three home runs, 17 doubles and one triple. He also has collected 42 RBIs to lead the Warriors at the plate.
"We have put a lot of time in, staying late after practice to get more swings and I think that has really helped this year," said Doocy.
For Doocy, baseball has always been a mainstay. He first started playing in youth leagues when he was 4 and 5 years old.
Over the years, his dedication to the sport has paid off with a successful season for North Union this year.
Along with his success at the plate, Doocy also has been one of the Warriors' top starting pitchers.
In addition to pitching a 6-3 complete-game victory over Estherville-Lincoln Central during Tuesday night's district semifinal game in Emmetsburg, Iowa, Doocy has had a few memorable starts on the mound this season.
On June 18, Doocy struck out 15 batters and gave up only two hits to lead the Warriors to a 7-0 victory over West Bend-Mallard.
"I was hitting my spots that game. Everything just seemed to be working perfect and I felt really good," said Doocy.
Being so successful might put extra pressure on the North Union junior, but he doesn't mind.
"As a pitcher, I think there is always some pressure. It's just you and their best hitter and when you strike them out or get an out, it's a great feeling," said Doocy. "I think I've always dealt with pressure well and not let it affect me too much."
While hitting and driving in runs is a big part of Doocy's game, he prefers being the one delivering the pitches.
"Hitting is fun and I like it, but when you throw a really hard fastball or get a strikeout, it's an awesome feeling," said Doocy.
Pitching might be where Doocy is most comfortable, but he has also played at each of the corners, locking down first and third base at times for the Warriors.
The Warriors, who haven't lost two games in a row all season, are looking to advance to the Sub-state bracket with a win tonight.
"We have really been playing well lately. This year is our second year after combining with Armstrong(-Ringsted) and it's different from last year. We are playing as a team and everyone's excited to see what we can do in the playoffs," said Doocy.