GRUNDY CENTER - East Marshall's hopes of figuring into a potential three-way tie atop the NICL West Division baseball standings disappeared when Grundy Center's Ryon Appel homered in the bottom of the sixth inning, breaking the tie in a 7-6 Spartan victory Friday night.
Appel's second home run of the season was a solo shot that broke a 6-all tie, knocking East Marshall back a peg. The Mustangs (11-13, 10-4) were hoping all the cards fell just right that they might share the NICL West crown, but Grundy Center (6-12, 6-8) spoiled those chances.
Tyler Harken hit a two-run home run in the fifth for the Spartans, giving them a 6-4 lead that East Marshall matched with two runs in the top of the sixth.
Appel's homer was the tiebreaker in the bottom half.
Bryce Moats (1-0) got the win in relief, going 1 2/3 innings in support of starter Jordan Clapp.
Brock Pieters (3-2) allowed just the one run in the sixth in taking the loss. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out one in relief of Josh Benzing. Benzing allowed nine hits and six runs (four earned) with two walks and three strikeouts, coming out with a 6-4 deficit.
Nate DeBondt was 2-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI to lead the Mustangs offensively. Ryan Puumala was 1-for-3 with two RBIs, while Josh Wilson was 1-for-1 with an RBI and Benzing was 1-for-4 with a run driven in. East Marshall had just five hits in the loss.
The Mustangs meet Sumner-Fredericksburg at approximately 1 p.m. in the second game of today's BCLUW Tournament in Beaman.
BCLUW 9, South Hardin 6
BEAMAN - A five-run third inning was the difference in this NICL West Division game as the Comets scored eight of their nine runs in the first three frames and held off the Tigers to improve to 5-8 in conference play.
BCLUW, coming off a big win over conference-leading West Marshall on Thursday, finished with six hits but took advantage of six South Hardin errors and 12 free passes from Tiger pitching.
Tyler Lutes allowed five hits and two walks while striking out seven in the complete-game win for BCLUW, which has won four straight games. Only three of the six runs scored by South Hardin (2-13) were earned.
Conner Ubben had one hit, one walk and scored twice to lead the Comet offense, while Mitch Miller doubled, was walked one and hit another time and scored four runs.
David Shindelar took the loss for the Tigers, allowing nine runs in five innings. He struck out four, walked nine and hit three BCLUW batters.
Cody Haley and Jordin Wilkie each doubled to lead the Tigers at the plate.
BCLUW (8-11) will next play in its own tournament Saturday in Beaman. The Comets open the tournament against Dike-New Hartford at 10:30 a.m.
North Tama 5, Colo-NESCO 1
ZEARING - Dalton Hulme struck out 10 in a one-hitter and the North Tama baseball team took down Colo-NESCO, 5-1, in Friday's Iowa Star Conference clash.
Hulme allowed an earned run and walked two in the complete-game effort, giving up the Royals' lone run in the bottom of the seventh.
North Tama (21-6, 11-2) got just five hits but it proved to be enough, scoring four times in the third inning and once in the sixth.
Jacob Wrage was 2-for-4 with a run scored to lead the Redhawks offensively. Brent Billerbeck was 1-for-3 with an RBI, Hulme singled and scored, and Riley Rohach added his second hit of the summer.
North Tama is on the road Monday at GMG.
West Marshall 7, GMG 6
STATE CENTER - Jared Johnson was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning and his courtesy runner Brady Petermeier scored on Matt Van Metre's bases-loaded suicide squeeze bunt, giving West Marshall a 7-6 win over GMG.
Van Metre also had the Trojans' only hit in the game, a fourth-inning single.
Bridger Claassen went the distance in the loss for GMG (2-12), allowing four earned runs on 10 walks and one hit batsman. He struck out five.
Brandon Weitzell was 1-for-2 with a double and two runs scored, Austin Vaughn was 1-for-3 with a run and two RBIs, and Jacob Burt drove in two runs for the Wolverines.
Garrett Goodwin got the win in relief of starting pitcher Justin Weitzell for West Marshall (16-4).