MHS misses chance at sweep of East

The rugged Central Iowa Conference leaves little room for error.

So when the schedule lightens up, the good teams must take advantage.

The Marshalltown baseball team missed a golden opportunity to pick up a pair of wins against Waterloo East at the MHS diamond Tuesday and came away feeling empty with the evening despite pulling away in game two.

The Bobcats (6-4) stranded nine runners and surrendered a two-run lead to lose the opener 4-2 in eight innings before coming back with a 7-2 victory in the nightcap.

“Coming out of a relatively disappointing evening (Monday), when we had an opportunity to win two games on the road against a ranked opponent, I can’t remember being more disappointed with an effort than the one we got in game one,” MHS coach Steve Hanson said. “We had countless opportunities to walk away and win game one, but we didn’t have the discipline and we didn’t take the approach necessary to accomplish that.

“We got the result that we deserved.”

Devon Merron singled to drive in Thomas Hall and Zach Lindquist scored off an error for the go-ahead runs in the top of the eighth as the Trojans (5-8) stole game one.

Hall moved from first to third on Lindquist’s single, before Merron followed with another to start the Bobcats’ evening off on the wrong note after they split against Class 4A No. 8 Fort Dodge Monday.

Marshalltown jumped in front 2-0 in the third as Mason McCarville hit a two-run double to plate Dylan Diveney and Grant Thimesch though the Bobcats never struck again.

MHS started the fourth and fifth frames with runners on second and third and no outs, but came up empty both times. Austin Sowers and Colton Hanke opened the fourth with back-to-back singles and each moved a base on a passed ball, though the inning eventually ended in a double play on a botched suicide squeeze bunt attempt.

Justus Bjelland and Matt Battles each reached on errors to start the fifth, before another Bobcat was caught in a rundown between third and home.

Landon Clemenson’s sacrifice fly scored Merron to cut the deficit in half in the fifth and Riley Hanks knotted the score in the sixth. Hanks was hit by a pitch, sacrificed to second, reached third on a passed ball and got across the plate on a mishandled pickoff attempt at third.

Three of the four runs were unearned as Sowers (1-1) took the loss allowing five hits and three walks, while striking out seven in eight innings. Lindquist (1-1) went the distance in the win with an eight-hit effort, while striking out one and walking none.

“We didn’t do much to help (Austin), but he needs to do more to help himself,” Hanson said.

Merron led the Trojans with a 2-for-3 outing, one run scored and an RBI and Cameron Pries added two hits. Colton Hanke had a team-best two hits for MHS, while Diveney added a double.

The Trojans grabbed a 2-0 lead in the late game on Lindquist’s two-run double in the third. McCarville reached on an error to score Thimesch, before the senior scored on another Trojan miscue to tie it up in the bottom half of the third.

Diveney’s sac fly to center brought in Ben Rebik to secure the lead at 3-2 in the fourth and Hanke added insurance with a two-out solo shot to right in the fifth.

Bjelland doubled to lead off the sixth and later scored on a passed ball. McCarville reached first on a dropped third strike and his pinch runner Jordan Smith moved to third on a Sowers double. Smith and Sowers capped the scoring, reaching home on another Waterloo East error as the Trojans had four in the game.

Dakota Scribner (3-1) suffered his first loss in relief, allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits after Pries tossed three no-hit innings and gave up just one unearned run.

Jack Greene (1-0) earned the win in his first career start allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits in five frames. The sophomore stuck out four and issued four walks, before McCarville tossed the last two frames and surrendered just one hit, while fanning three.

“For his first career start, Jack did a nice job,” Hanson said. “Jack knows that in order to compete in our league, he needs to refine some aspects of how he performs. … Now it’s a matter of taking what he did tonight and growing with it. I’m sure he’ll have other opportunities as we move down the road.”

The Bobcats’ road could get a little bumpier Thursday with third-ranked Cedar Rapids Kennedy coming to town.

“Kennedy is extremely well-coached and will be very disciplined,” Hanson said. “If we show any glimmers of what we did tonight on Thursday night, it won’t be a good night for the Bobcats, I can guarantee you that.”

Notebook

Marshalltown hosts Cedar Rapids Kennedy in a JV/Varsity doubleheader with the varsity scheduled to start at 7 p.m.. … Six different Bobcats had a single hit for MHS in game two. Both teams stranded eight runners in the nightcap. … Hanke’s homer was his second of the season.