Top-ranked Dragons brush aside Bobcats

T-R PHOTO BY ANNE VANCE • Marshalltown’s Noah DeVenney is tagged out by Johnston’s Nathan Buckallew (1) during Monday’s CIML Iowa Conference baseball doubleheader at Johnston. Class 4A’s top-ranked Dragons won by scores of 17-2 and 6-0.

T-R PHOTO BY ANNE VANCE • Marshalltown’s Noah DeVenney is tagged out by Johnston’s Nathan Buckallew (1) during Monday’s CIML Iowa Conference baseball doubleheader at Johnston. Class 4A’s top-ranked Dragons won by scores of 17-2 and 6-0.

JOHNSTON — The Marshalltown baseball team has been knocked down. Now it has to get back up.

The Class 4A No. 1 Johnston Dragons delivered a pair of haymakers to the Bobcats on Monday night, beating MHS 17-2 in four innings and 6-0 in a CIML Iowa Conference doubleheader.

Marshalltown (8-9, 3-3) tallied a combined five hits, made 12 errors and stranded 12 runners on base in suffering its third road sweep this season. The Dragons (12-1, 7-1) racked up 23 runs on 19 hits.

“There’s no long list of positives coming out of tonight’s games,” said MHS head coach Steve Hanson. “We didn’t pitch it well enough to compete with a good team, our defense was poor and we didn’t hit it at all. Put that all together and you get beat twice.”

The Bobcats trailed 6-0 in game one before scoring its only two runs of the day in the top of the third inning. Miguel Torrez led off with a single, moved up when Dylan Eygabroad reached on an error, and scored on a passed ball. Eygabroad came across later on a wild pitch, but MHS stranded the bases loaded.

Johnston countered by scoring once in the third and then 10 times in the fourth to end the game prematurely.

Marshalltown’s four singles came from Dru Dobbins, Wade Canaday, Torrez and losing pitcher Nate Vance. Vance was tagged for seven runs — five earned — on six hits and three strikeouts.

In the nightcap, Johnston scored at least once in each of its first four at-bats to go on top 6-0, and the Bobcats had only a fourth-inning single by Dru Dobbins to look to offensively. Jordan Smiley surrendered six runs — four earned — on seven hits and one walk, striking out three.

“Our margin for error is pretty small, which magnifies any mistakes we make,” added Hanson. “As soon as we start playing the game better we’ll be more competitive against the level of competition we’re playing this week.”

The Bobcats return home for a CIML Iowa doubleheader with No. 3 Dowling Catholic on Wednesday. MHS goes to Southeast Polk for a twinbill Thursday, and North Polk comes to town for a 7 p.m. game on Friday night.

At Johnston

Game One

Johnston 17, Marshalltown 2, 4 innings

MHS 002 0 — 2 4 7

Johnston 241 (10) — 17 12 1

Nate Vance, Sam Irwin (4) and Miguel Torrez; Nathan Buckallew, Nathan Blanchard (4) and Caleb Kuenan. W–Buckallew (4-0). L–Vance (3-1). 2B–JHN: Drew Beazley, Alex MacGregor. LOB–MHS 4, JHN 1.

Game Two

Johnston 6, Marshalltown 0

MHS 000 000 0 — 0 1 5

Johnston 112 200 X — 6 7 0

Jordan Smiley, Tate Kuehner (5) and Wyatt Himes; Jackson Vines, Jacob Tobey (5), Keaton Duckett (6), Nick Yeast (7) and Derek Hackman. W–Vines (3-0). L–Smiley (0-3). 2B–JHN: Hackman, Peyton Williams. 3B–JHN: Jack Burger. LOB–MHS 8, JHN 3.