Getting the first two outs against Cedar Rapids Kennedy on Wednesday isn't what the Marshalltown baseball team had trouble with.
The third out, though, was hard to come by.
The Cougars plated all seven of their runs after two outs were registered during a 7-3 win over the Bobcats in a non-conference affair at the MHS diamond.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
Marshalltown senior first baseman Hunter Hillygus, right, tags out Cedar Rapids Kennedy senior Joel Smetzer in front of Bobcat junior pitcher Austin Sowers, center, during the top of the fourth inning of the Cougars’ 7-3 loss Wednesday night at the MHS diamond.
"We needed somebody to step and make plays and we needed our pitchers to throw strikes," Marshalltown coach Steve Hanson said. "We needed to be more consistent."
It was the fifth straight win for Kennedy, which improved to 10-8 on the season. Marshalltown dropped its second consecutive game and dipped back under .500 at 8-9.
The Bobcats scored first with an RBI groundout by Blake Judkins in the first inning. But three runs after two outs were in the books in the second inning gave the Cougars the lead and a two-out home run by Jared Staton in the third ended up being the eventual game-winner. The big hit in the second inning was a two-run triple by Zachary Daniels.
After the home run by Staton, MHS starter Austin Sowers issued a two-out walk to Matthew Stevens and Tony Maiers drove him in with a two-out RBI double.
Maiers came into the game hitting .263 but was hit by a pitch and scored in the second and added another RBI double in the fifth that chased Sowers.
The Bobcats had their chances at the plate. They collected seven hits (all singles) but stranded eight on the bases and struck out eight times as well.
"That is too many strikeouts," Hanson said. "We are taking too many strikes."
Cedar Rapids Kennedy, which reached the Class 4A semifinals at last year's Iowa High School State Baseball Tournament, collected eight hits in the win and five went for extra bases.
The final hit of the game was an RBI double by Matthew Stevens that pushed Kennedy's lead to 7-3.
The Bobcats put two runners on in the seventh thanks to back-to-back errors by the Cougars. That chased Kennedy starter Samuele Lizarraga, but David King struck out Mason McCarville to end the game.
Sowers took the loss on the mound for Marshalltown. He allowed six earned runs and struck out two in 4 2/3 innings. Sowers (1-3) also walked two and hit a batter. Hanke gave up the run in the seventh on two hits and fanned one.
Lizarraga was the winning pitcher for Kennedy and improved to 2-1 on the year. He got all but one out in the game, struck out seven and two of the three runs were earned.
Ryan Mitchell singled and scored in the first and then reached on an error and scored in the fifth. He also stole two bases. Dylan Diveney singled and was hit by a Lizarraga pitch in the fourth and Judkins led the offense with two hits and an RBI.
Stevens singled and scored in the second, walked and scored in the third and then capped off the win with an RBI double in the seventh to lead the Cougars at the plate. Maiers had two doubles, two RBIs and was hit by a Sowers pitch in the second.
Staton came into the game hitting just .256 but homered in the third and singled and scored the final run of the game in the seventh.
This game was originally scheduled to be played on Memorial Day. ... The Bobcats will next play at Ottumwa on Friday. The CIML doubleheader will start at 5 p.m. They do not return home until Wednesday when they take on Southeast Polk in another doubleheader. ... Marshalltown had at least one runner on base in all seven innings. The Bobcats began the first inning with back-to-back singles but recorded a fielder's choice out at third base and another out by way off a Lizarraga pick off at first. ... The Bobcats were picked off at first base twice in the game. The second one came immediately before a Judkins double that likely would have scored the runner from first. Hanson argued the call but would not comment on the play after the game.