‘Cats bounce back, blank Ankeny 8-0

ANKENY – No one would have blamed the Marshalltown baseball team for having a negative carryover Thursday after a disappointing effort in two losses to Southeast Polk on Wednesday.

But the Bobcats managed to flush the disappointing defeats quickly and MHS bounced back to beat Ankeny here Thursday.

Colton Hanke and Dylan Diveney combined to throw a seven-hitter on the mound and Diveney, Grant Thimesch and Joe Rebik each had two hits at the plate as the Bobcats blanked the Hawks, 8-0, in a non-conference tilt.

Diveney, Thimesch and Rebik – the team’s first three hitters in the lineup – also combined to score seven of the eight runs and Hanke added three RBIs. Marshalltown had just seven hits at the plate but walked six times and took advantage of three Ankeny errors in improving to 15-13 on the season.

“Considering our performance last night against Southeast Polk, tonight’s win was really big on a lot of different levels,” said Marshalltown coach Steve Hanson. “First and foremost, I am very pleased about the way our guys came back to the ballpark today. It would’ve been real easy to be passive and feel sorry for ourselves after the way we got knocked around last night, but give our guys a lot of credit for showing some resilience and being able to flush last night because we came out tonight and played very, very well.”

The Bobcats plated two runs in the first inning and went up 7-0 with three more runs in the third and two in the fourth.

Diveney singled and moved up to second on a Thimesch sacrifice bunt in the first inning. Rebik reached on a single and then Hanke made it 1-0 with his first RBI of the game. Rebik made it 2-0 after scoring on Ankeny’s first error.

The top of the order got things going for the Bobcats again in the second. Diveney drew the first of his two walks on the night and then stole second.

Thimesch singled to put runners on the corners and then another Ankeny error made it 3-0. Thimesch scored later on a wild pitch and Rebik stole home to make it 5-0.

An RBI single from Rebik and an RBI sacrifice fly from Hanke put the Bobcats up 7-0 after four innings and the final run of the game came in the sixth when Kyler Ladehoff scored on Hanke’s RBI fielder’s choice.

Hanke started the game and needed just 18 pitches to get through three innings. He allowed two hits before giving way to Diveney, who allowed five hits and struck out two in his four innings and got the win.

“As is usually the case, everything starts on the mound and we got a real nice performance from (Hanke) and (Diveney),” said Hanson. “Because those guys were able to throw strikes, our defense was excellent behind them.”

Drew Doorenbal and Nate Schweers each had two hits for Ankeny (15-13) and Jack Rasmussen took the loss on the mound after allowing seven runs – three earned – in 5 1/3 innings.

It was the Hawks’ fourth straight loss.

The Bobcats will head to Ames to take on the Little Cyclones on Monday.

The Central Iowa Conference Northern Division rivals will play the regularly scheduled doubleheader after finishing a suspended game from earlier this season.

The Ames baseball field was under water and massively flooded Wednesday night, but Marshalltown Activities Director Craig Huegel told the T-R on Thursday that Ames officials expect the field to be ready for action before Monday’s CIC North Division games take place.