Bobcat bats go quiet as Valley sweeps

WEST DES MOINES – The Marshalltown baseball team managed just six hits at the plate in its two games against West Des Moines Valley and the Tigers recorded 7-1 and 5-1 victories at the Steven Duncan Sports Complex here Wednesday.

Colton Hanke, Joe Rebik and Mason McCarville all had two hits each in the losses and Hanke hit his third home run of the season in game one, but Valley jumped out to a quick lead in the opener and then put the final touches on the sweep with a three-run sixth inning in the nightcap.

“We only had six hits in the doubleheader and Valley played nearly errorless baseball so our scoring opportunities were few and far between,” said Marshalltown coach Steve Hanson. “We saw some decent pitching – which is the norm in the CIML – so we’ll have to work on ways to generate offense.”

Michael Schrempf went the distance in the opener and Jordan Smith threw all six innings in the nightcap, but both Bobcat pitchers were handed losses after Valley collected 19 hits on the night.

Schrempf (1-1) allowed 12 hits and struck out one while walking two but only three of the seven runs he allowed were earned as the Bobcats committed two errors. Smith surrendered seven hits and five earned runs in game two. He walked three in dropping to 1-2 on the year.

“We got two pretty gutsy pitching performances from (Schrempf) and (Smith),” said Hanson. “Getting complete games from them is very helpful to our pitching staff during this very busy time of our schedule.”

Valley plated four runs in the first inning against Schrempf and then made it 5-0 with another run in the second. Hanke’s solo homer to right field put the Bobcats on the board, but the Tigers plated single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to close out their ninth win of the year.

Connor Sorge doubled, tripled and scored twice in the win, while Kelly Prien and Parker Johnson had three hits apiece. Johnson also had two RBIs, while Drew Denkinger homered, had two hits and scored two runs.

“We made some nice plays defensively, but still failed to execute when it mattered and that cost us a chance to make things more interesting in game two,” said Hanson.

Sam Hartman earned his second win of the year on the mound in game two and also helped himself with two hits and two RBIs at the plate as the Tigers (10-8) scored two runs in the third and three in the sixth.

Hartman allowed just three hits and fanned three in six innings. Sorge, who will play at Heartland Community College in Normal, Ill., next year, earned his first save of the year after tossing a scoreless seventh. Jack Brandsgard double, had two hits and added an RBI at the plate in the nightcap. He also doubled in the opener.

Rebik doubled and scored the lone run for the Bobcats (8-8), while Hanke also doubled and McCarville singled.

The Bobcats, who have lost three straight games, continued to play without starting center fielder Dylan Diveney, who suffered an injury last weekend.

The Bobcats will have the chance to bounce back today when they host Des Moines Roosevelt in a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. MHS also plays host to North Polk in a single game at 7:45 p.m. Friday.

“The best thing about baseball is that we don’t have time to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves,” said Hanson. “The games keep coming and as soon as we play better we’ll win.”