’Cats come back to take Game 2 at Fort Dodge

Wade Canaday

FORT DODGE — So goes the roller coaster in the CIML Iowa Conference.

The Marshalltown baseball team committed eight errors in a 14-1, five-inning loss to Fort Dodge in the opening game of Monday’s doubleheader before dealing the host Dodgers a 2-1 defeat in the nightcap.

Fort Dodge (6-7, 1-3) threw a pair of aces at the Bobcats and both landed, but only one of them took the pot. Marshalltown (9-4, 2-1) countered with Wade Canaday in game two and his six strong innings made it easier on the defense behind him.

“It was certainly the tale of two different games against a good team and two talented pitchers,” MHS head coach Steve Hanson said of Fort Dodge.

The Marshalltown defense made six errors in the bottom of the first inning of the opening game, and the Dodgers scored seven times as a result. Fort Dodge didn’t demand any help in the second inning, scoring six times on nine hits against MHS starting pitcher Will Van Buren (1-1) and reliever Tyler Dunham.

Dru Dobbins

The Bobcat bats never got going against Drew Callon, either, as Callon scattered three hits and two walks over four innings while striking out three. Jace Ulrich struck out two of the three Bobcat batters he faced in the fifth to finish off the run rule-shortened victory.

“In the first game we let things get out of hand,” said Hanson. “We gave Fort Dodge six extra outs in the first inning alone and didn’t pitch it particularly well either.

“It’s no mystery that if you allow that many free bases in our league you’re going to be in serious trouble. Couple that with the fact that we didn’t do much at the plate and it quickly becomes a five-inning game. That first inning was as poor a half inning as anyone on our staff could recall and it’s really tough to dig out of that hole.”

The Bobcats didn’t burrow out before the end of the first game, but made it back to the surface in time for the nightcap. Canaday allowed just two hits over six innings, walking none while striking out nine for the win. Tate Kuehner beaned the first batter he faced but got the next three outs, the final two on strikes to close out the 2-1 victory.

Marshalltown went more than three innings without a hit before Dru Dobbins led off the top of the third with his second home run of the season. Bennett Hageman followed with a single, took second on a walk to Blake Trowbridge, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Dylan Eygabroad.

Those were the Bobcats’ only two hits between Dobbins’ double in the fourth inning of game one and his single in the seventh inning of game two, but they were enough support for Canaday.

“Game two was an entirely different story and it all started on the mound with Wade Canaday,” said Hanson. “To begin with he didn’t walk a batter and struck out nine guys, which takes a lot of pressure off our defense. The one run Fort Dodge scored came after a botched rundown, so there’s room for improvement in that department.

“Tate Kuehner finished things up in the seventh but it’s an example of winning another close game.”

Dobbins had three of Marshalltown’s six hits in the twinbill, while Kuehner and Canaday each had a single in the first game.

“We just have to do a better job of keeping games close and shutting down innings before they explode and the game gets away from us,” Hanson said.

Miller, a Grand View University football recruit at quarterback, went all seven innings for the Dodgers in a loss. He allowed three hits, two walks and two earned runs while striking out seven, and also doubled.

Marshalltown turns around to host No. 8 Southeast Polk tonight in the completion of the second game of a doubleheader that was called off by rain on June 3. The Rams lead 2-1 in the second inning.

On Wednesday night, the Bobcats visit West Des Moines Valley for a cross-CIML twinbill, and North Polk visits for a non-conference game on Friday night that will feature the return of Marshalltown’s back-to-back state tournament teams from 2008-09.

“It’s a very busy week against some very good opponents so we’ll have to be ready to go [Tuesday] and get off to a better start than we did [Monday],” added Hanson.

At Fort Dodge

Game One

Fort Dodge 14, Marshalltown 1

MHS 001 00 — 1 3 8

FD 761 0X — 14 13 1

Will Van Buren, Tyler Dunham (2) and Aidan DeVolder; Drew Callon, Jace Ulrich (5) and Shane Halligan, David Folsom (4). W–Callon (2-1). L–Van Buren (1-1). 2B–MHS: Dru Dobbins; FD: Drake Miller, Carson Peterson 2. 3B–FD: Callon. LOB–MHS 3, FD 3.

Game Two

Marshalltown 2, Fort Dodge 1

MHS 002 000 0 — 2 3 1

FD 000 001 0 — 1 2 1

Wade Canaday, Tate Kuehner (7) and Van Buren; Drake Miller and Halligan. W–Canaday (3-1). L–Miller (1-3). Sv–Kuehner (1). 2B–FD: Miller, Peterson. HR–MHS: Dobbins (2). LOB–MHS 3, FD 3.