Bobcats strike down Dodgers twice

MHS baseball team sweeps past Fort Dodge

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE - Marshalltown senior pitcher Tate Kuehner, top, tags out Fort Dodge courtesy runner Drake Callon (11) after a brief rundown between second and third base during the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader at the MHS diamond. The Bobcats swept the Dodgers, winning 4-3 and 5-1.

The clutch hits that never came during the North Polk game have been steadily showing up ever since.

The Marshalltown baseball team recorded its third walk-off win in the last 10 days, rallying past Fort Dodge 4-3 in the opening game of Wednesday’s CIML Iowa Conference doubleheader for an extra-inning victory. The Bobcats rolled it over into another win in the nightcap, though senior Wade Canaday made sure it was a lot less dramatic, 5-1.

Marshalltown (17-10, 8-6) trailed 2-0 and 3-2 but answered both calls, only to come through with the go-ahead score in the first extra frame. Will Van Buren worked a leadoff walk in the bottom of the eighth inning and Dru Dobbins delivered a walk-off double one out later that reached the fence in right-center field and allowed Van Buren to score the game-winning run in a 4-3 triumph for the Bobcats.

Van Buren plated a pair with a first-inning, two-out single to start game two, Canaday clubbed a three-run home run in the fifth, and the Morningside College commit tossed a four-hitter to keep Fort Dodge (10-15, 4-10) at bay.

The Bobcats won three of four against the Dodgers during conference play.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE - Tate Kuehner, right, runs out to greet Will Van Buren at home plate after Van Buren scored the game-winning run during the eighth inning of Wednesday’s opening game of a CIML Iowa Conference against Fort Dodge. Van Buren, left, scored on a double to the fence by Dru Dobbins, background, to lift the Bobcats to a 4-3 victory. Marshalltown made it a sweep with a 5-1 win in the nightcap.

“It’s great to win a couple of close games against a tough, well-coached team like Fort Dodge,” said MHS head coach Steve Hanson. “These wins were a lot of work, especially game one where we trailed early. Fortunately we hung in there and Tate (Kuehner) kept throwing.”

Kuehner surrendered eight hits while striking out eight in the complete-game pitching performance in the opener. He got out of a jam in the top of the sixth after a leadoff double by Shane Halligan, but the Bobcats caught his courtesy runner in a rundown and eventually escaped.

Drew Callon lofted a home run to left in the top of the seventh to give the Dodgers a shortlived lead, as Marshalltown made good on a leadoff hit-by-pitch to even things up in the home half. Aiden DeVolder reached when Drake Miller’s offering hit him in the foot, and his pinch-runner Bennett Hageman later came around to score on a Dylan Eygabroad single to center.

Kuehner and his defense retired the side in the eighth before the Bobcats won it in walk-off fashion.

The nightcap went Marshalltown’s way from the outset, starting with a two-out single by Canaday in the bottom of the first and a double to left by Harris. Van Buren followed with a single back up the box, bringing in both baserunners for a 2-0 lead.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE

Fort Dodge starting pitcher Dylan Zimmerman wavered in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out walk to Kuehner, and then he plunked Eygabroad. Canaday came through in the clutch with a three-run round-tripper, lifting the Bobcats to two games above .500 in the conference for the first time this summer.

“Game two was a bit different as we got a two-out base hit from Van Buren to score a couple and take a lead,'” said Hanson. “Then Wade Canaday made those two runs stand up. He also padded the lead and helped his own cause with a three-run homer in the fifth.

“On the night we got excellent pitching as we didn’t walk a batter and we got some timely hitting from Dobbins, Eygabroad, Canaday and Van Buren.”

The Bobcats host eighth-ranked Urbandale for a doubleheader tonight as the Class 4A defending state champions visit the MHS diamond for a 5 p.m. showdown.

“I’m hopeful that our guys can suck it up and be ready to go back at it tomorrow,” Hanson said. “This is a tough time of year for players from a physical standpoint, but it’s something that we just have to plow through.”

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE

At Marshalltown

Game One

Marshalltown 4, Fort Dodge 3, 8 innings

FD 000 200 10 — 3 8 0

MHS 000 020 11 — 4 7 1

Drake Miller and Shane Halligan; Tate Kuehner and Will Van Buren. W–Kuehner (2-3). L–Miller (2-4). 2B–FD: Halligan; MHS: Kuehner, Dru Dobbins. HR–FD: Drew Callon (1). LOB–FD 7, MHS 8.

Game Two

Marshalltown 5, Fort Dodge 1

FD 000 001 0 — 1 4 0

MHS 200 030 X — 5 7 0

Dylan Zimmerman, Nelson Cone (6) and Halligan; Wade Canaday and Van Buren. W–Canaday (5-1). L–Zimmerman (3-3). 2B–FD: Carson Peterson; MHS: Joseph Harris. HR–MHS: Canaday (4). LOB–FD 2, MHS 3.