Mustangs move one step closer to NICL West title

GILMAN – The East Marshall baseball team is just one win away from claiming the North Iowa Cedar League West Division title.

After a 14-4, five-inning victory over AGWSR on Thursday night, the Mustangs now must defeat Gladbrook-Reinbeck just once in their doubleheader on Monday. A sweep by the Rebels keeps their hopes of a conference title still alive.

East Marshall (22-6, 16-2) got a complete-game effort from Josh Benzing on the mound against the Cougars on Thursday night and he also had two hits and three RBIs at the plate as the Mustangs plated 10 runs in the first three innings and then ended the game early with a four-run fifth.

Benzing allowed four runs – three earned – on five hits and struck out three in the win. He was aided by 14 hits from the Mustang offense and three errors from the Cougar defense.

Nick Long had three hits and three RBIs to lead the offense, while Benzing, Zach Rubenbauer, Sam Benzing and Luke Svendsen all added two hits.

Svendsen chipped in three RBIs and Rubenbauer and Sam Benzing each scored two runs apiece. Sam Benzing also had two RBIs and Caleb Benzing scored three times as East Marshall plated one in the first, five in the second and four in the third to take a commanding lead.

Dylan Heetland started and took the loss on the mound for AGWSR.

The Mustangs have won four straight and six of their last seven and will play in the BCLUW Fourth of July Tournament in Beaman on Saturday.

The Comets will play Dike-New Hartford at 10:30 a.m. and East Marshall will face Sumner-Fredericksburg at around 1 p.m. The two winners will then meet in the championship and the losers will play for third later in the day.

West Marshall 9, BCLUW 4

BEAMAN – West Marshall rallied twice and a six-run sixth inning ended up being the difference against the Comets on the road.

The Trojans, who have won four straight and eight of their last nine, got a strong effort on the mound from Garrett Nichols and won the game with just six hits at the plate because BCLUW committed six errors in the field.

Nichols allowed four hits and one earned run while walking two in the win. Matt Van Metre, who had two hits at the plate, got the final two outs on the mound.

Cody Berns had two singles at the dish, while Jared Johnson and Dylan Petermeier each had one hit.

Cole Silver started and took the loss on the mound for the Comets (6-17, 4-13) after allowing seven runs – two earned – on six hits. He struck out four and walked two. Conner Ubben led the Comet bats with two hits, while Mitch Miller had an RBI single and Taylor Sams, who also pitched, added one hit.

West Marshall (16-11, 11-7) will next play in a home NICL West Division doubleheader against Grundy Center at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

BCLUW will play in its own holiday tournament on Saturday. The Comets take on Dike-New Hartford in the opener at 10:30 a.m.

Late Wednesday

Colo-NESCO 3, Dunkerton 2, 9 innings

ZEARING – Christian Reischauer threw all nine innings and struck out nine on the mound and also collected three hits and scored twice at the plate as the Royals beat Iowa Star Conference rival Dunkerton on a walk-off walk by Grant Tiarks in the bottom of the ninth here Wednesday.

Reischauer allowed no earned runs and just six hits but walked eight in the win.

Taylor Hill walked four times at the plate and Garrett Tiarks finished with a double and an RBI for the Royals, who had just one error in the game. Christian Montgomery also walked twice.

Colo-NESCO is now 6-14 on the season.

Dunkerton (5-12) got two hits at the plate from freshman Jordan Yessak and Lane Johnson took the loss on the mound after walking seven over the final two innings. Johnson struck out three and the run scored in the ninth was unearned.

SOFTBALL

Late Wednesday

BCLUW 11, South Hardin 1

ELDORA – Sara Sharp had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run as the Class 2A No. 12 Comets cruised past NICL West Division rival South Hardin on Wednesday.

BCLUW led 6-0 after two innings and then added three runs in the fifth and two more in the seventh to improve to 21-9 overall and 12-6 in conference play.

The Comets, who will finish third in the conference, also got a pair of RBIs from Olivia Callaway and Kayla Fisher and a pair of runs from Nicole Lutes. Mallory Vawter also had two hits from her lead-off position.

Callaway struck out 16 and allowed just three hits in helping BCLUW claim its third win in four games.

South Hardin (6-19, 4-16) scored its lone run in the fourth frame but managed just three hits and committed six errors on the night.