JOHNSTON - Johnston seniors Joe Hawks and Alex McCune combined on a three-hitter and the Class 4A No. 8-ranked Dragons blanked the Marshalltown High School baseball team 5-0 on Monday night.
The meeting was reduced to a single varsity game as the Bobcats (15-23) approach the 40-game limit for the regular season. Marshalltown will be carrying a seven-game losing streak into today's 3 p.m. twinbill at Des Moines Roosevelt, and the postseason begins Friday with the Bobcats' 7 p.m. game at Cedar Falls.
Marshalltown had just three hits to show for Monday's defeat, failing to advance a runner to third base in the game. Hawks (4-1) allowed only Mason McCarville's second-inning double, striking out two and walking none for the win. McCune gave up two singles in the top of the seventh but still earned the save, striking out two and walking one in three innings.
"Despite the fact we didn't score, we had some really good swings and aggressive at-bats against two strong pitchers," said MHS coach Steve Hanson. "Seeing velocity like that will certainly help us as we try to solidify our lineup for Friday night."
Tyler Moranville went the distance on the mound for Marshalltown, allowing four earned runs on 10 hits. He struck out one and walked one.
"Tyler did a pretty good job against an explosive offensive team," Hanson added. "If you don't score, you can't win, but Tyler certainly gave us a chance."
Four of Johnston's hits went for extra-bases, including a pair of doubles for clean-up hitter Connor Jacobsen. Jacobsen finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs, and Michael Kinning was 2-for-2 with a run scored.
The top four hitters in the Dragons' batting order accounted for three singles, three doubles, a triple and all five runs. Chase Kramer's one-out double in the fifth was the first of four straight hits for Johnston, which broke open a 2-0 lead with three runs in the frame.
McCune finished 2-for-3 and Trevor McCauley had an RBI triple for the Dragons (22-12).
"We have one more set of games to evaluate our guys and a couple of practices before it's time to get after it for real," Hanson said. "I'm sure our guys will utilize the next few days to work and improve so we'll be the best we can be Friday night."