Bobcats take down Dowling in extras

WEST DES MOINES — Nate Vance drove in the eventual game-winning runs with his single in the top of the eighth inning and the Marshalltown baseball team managed a CIML Iowa Conference split with Class 4A No. 2 Dowling Catholic on Monday night.

The Bobcats (14-21, 8-11) fell 5-0 in the opener before fighting back to take a 5-3 triumph in the nightcap, rallying past the Maroons (28-5, 15-3) in extra innings.

Tate Kuehner allowed three unearned runs from the mound in the second game for MHS, earning the win after Vance delivered the go-ahead runs in the top of the eighth inning. Dowling reliever Connor Erps hit Noah DeVenney with a pitch, Dylan Eygabroad moved him over with a sacrifice bunt, and Wyatt Himes singled to put runners on the corners.

After Himes stole second, Vance drove a single to left field to bring in both Bobcats and give Marshalltown a 5-3 lead — its only lead of the day.

Wade Canaday allowed a one-out single but struck out the next two Maroons for the save, sealing the Bobcats’ biggest win of the season so far.

“We went toe-to-toe with an outstanding team and played two competitive games,” said MHS head coach Steve Hanson. “Our pitchers were pretty good and our defense was pretty good for the most part.

“We got some timely hits and pushed across some timely — none moreso than Nate Vance’s two RBI in the eighth inning.”

Dowling had jumped out to a 3-0 lead on the Bobcats one inning into the second game, but Kuehner limited the damage from there and MHS rallied. Dru Dobbins drove in Vance with a two-out single in the third, and Sam Irwin singled home Himes in the fourth. Vance, who had walked, scored on passed ball to tie the score at 3-all.

Kuehner finished with three strikeouts and three walks, scattering eight hits across seven innings. Vance finished 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored, and Dobbins was 3-for-4 with an RBI. Eygabroad and Himes both had two hits while Irwin and Canaday both contributed singles.

In the opening game, three Dowling pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout. The Bobcats put the ball in play, striking out only three times, but could not piece together enough offense to contend in a 5-0 loss.

Dobbins was 2-for-3 and Vance added a hit but took the loss on the mound, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks over four innings, striking out one.

“Anytime you can win on the road in our league you have to be pleased,” said Hanson. “There was a tournament atmosphere tonight and our guys responded. They’ll be better players the rest of the way because of how they hung in there and succeeded tonight.”

The Bobcats are back out on the road Wednesday for a doubleheader at Des Moines Hoover. MHS closes the regular season hosting Des Moines Lincoln on July 10.