Rams pull away from ’Cats, 12-3

Southeast Polk took advantage of its second chance to make a first impression.

The Class 4A No. 8 Rams broke open a close game with some help from the Marshalltown baseball team, running away with a 12-3 victory Wednesday in the completion of a game suspended eight days earlier by rain.

The two teams even swapped start times with the junior varsity contest to assure the CIML Iowa Conference doubleheader got completed, and Southeast Polk (12-4, 3-1) ran its win streak to six-straight thanks to a six-run inning sparked by a lack of strikes.

The Rams haven’t lost since a 10-5 setback dealt to them by the Bobcats in the first game of that suspended doubleheader eight days ago.

Marshalltown (9-5, 2-2) fought to stay within 6-3 through six innings but couldn’t keep the Rams within range after issuing four walks and hitting another batter during Southeast Polk’s six-run eruption in the top of the seventh.

From down three to down nine, the Bobcat bats went down swinging in order in their last at-bat.

“We were completing a suspended game from a week ago and we played the varsity game ahead of the JV game because of the threat of weather, so we were out of a normal routine,” said MHS head coach Steve Hanson. “Despite all that we had a pretty good high school baseball game going — we trailed 6-3 after six innings — before the wheels came off the cart.”

Marshalltown trailed 2-1 in the bottom of the second when the game was suspended on June 3, and both teams went with new pitchers when the game resumed on Tuesday evening. Carson Williams kept the Rams in check as long as he could, but the Bobcat bats couldn’t answer against Southeast Polk junior Kaleb Krier. Krier went the final 5 1/3 innings on the mound, allowing two unearned runs on six hits and a walk while striking out eight.

Marshalltown scratched out single runs against him in the fourth and sixth frames. Bennett Hageman reached on an error to start the fourth, moved up on a single by Blake Trowbridge and eventually scored on Wade Canaday’s bases-loaded infield single.

In the sixth, Trowbridge reached with a one-out single, advanced on a passed ball, took third on Dylan Eygabroad’s bunt and scored when Krier’s throw to first missed its mark.

Eygabroad, Canaday and Trowbridge each had two of Marshalltown’s seven singles, and Joseph Harris had the other, but the Bobcats stranded nine men on base and struck out 10 times against Krier and Jaxon Dailey, the original starting pitcher who earned the win for his 1 2/3 innings of work.

“Carson Williams started on the mound and did a decent job for a few innings,” said Hanson. “We ended up using several more pitchers, none of whom had much luck throwing strikes.

“As soon as we throw more strikes we’ll make more plays and have a greater chance of winning.”

In all, the Bobcats issued nine walks and hit three batters, and half of those 12 free baserunners eventually scored for the Rams. Krier finished 2-for-3 at the plate with a two-run double, a bases-loaded hit by pitch and a two-run single for five RBIs on the night. Evan Martin and Aaron DuToit added two hits apiece, each with a double.

Marshalltown moves forward with a pair of road games tonight at West Des Moines Valley, followed by Friday’s home game against North Polk.

“We have three more games this week against quality opponents,” Hanson said. “Hopefully we’ll figure some things out about how to compete and hang in there when times get tough.”

Back-to-back qualifiers

The Marshalltown High School baseball program will welcome back members 2008-2009 state tournament teams this Friday night when the Bobcats host North Polk in JV/varsity games beginning at 5 p.m. at the MHS diamond.

Ten years ago the Marshalltown baseball team qualified for back-to-back trips to the state tournament, becoming only the fourth group in school history to do so.

The 2008 team finished the season with a 27-13 record and runner-up finish at the Class 4A state tournament. Despite losing six seniors to graduation, the 2009 team won 26 games and made a trip to Principal Park as well.

A number of players from those two teams will be on hand to tour the new Roundhouse, take batting practice and they will also be introduced between games Friday night. Bobcat baseball fans are encouraged to attend.

Southeast Polk 12, Marshalltown 3

At Marshalltown

SEP 200 220 6 — 12 7 3

MHS 100 101 0 — 3 7 3

Jaxon Dailey, Kaleb Krier (2) and Aaron DuToit; Tate Kuehner, Carson Williams (3), Joe Burnes (5), Blake Trowbridge (7), Bennett Hageman (7), Aidan DeVolder (7) and Will Van Buren. W–Dailey (1-0). L–Kuehner (1-2). 2B–SEP: Evan Martin, Krier, Evan Gjersvik, DuToit. LOB–SEP 9, MHS 9.