Harris homers, Canaday hurls Bobcats past Valley

T-R PHOTO BY ANNE VANCE - Marshalltown junior Joe Harris, center, celebrates his two-run home run to give the Bobcats a 5-3 lead over West Des Moines Valley in the sixth inning of Game 2 during Monday’s CIML Iowa Conference doubleheader at the MHS diamond. Valley took the opening game 12-5 before the Bobcats won the nightcap 5-3.

Five runs wasn’t enough, until it was.

The Marshalltown baseball team couldn’t make five runs work in the first game of Monday’s CIML Iowa Conference doubleheader with West Des Moines Valley, but that was just enough to get the Bobcats over the top in the second game.

Marshalltown junior Joseph Harris hit his second home run of the summer, a two-run shot in the bottom of the sixth inning, to break a 3-all tie and lift the Bobcats to a 5-3 victory in Monday’s nightcap at the MHS diamond. Valley claimed the opener, 12-5.

It was only enough because of the right arm of senior Wade Canaday. The Morningside College commit tossed a two-hitter while striking out a season-high 10 to improve to 6-1 on the mound thanks to a complete-game performance.

“Certainly the key component in game two was the pitching performance of Wade Canaday,” said MHS head coach Steve Hanson. “On a warm night he was in command for a good portion of the night against an offense that hung a dozen runs on us in the first game.”

T-R PHOTO BY ANNE VANCE - Marshalltown senior Tate Kuehner makes an over-the-shoulder catch as he nears the warning track during the first game of the Bobcats’ doubleheader Monday against West Des Moines Valley.

The Bobcats (18-13, 9-7) had struck first in the second game with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Consecutive singles by Dylan Eygabroad and Canaday set the table for Harris, who drove a double to the gap in left-center field to plate Eygabroad. A wild pitch plated Canaday before a Will Van Buren grounder got Harris home on an error to make it 3-0.

Valley (11-16, 7-9) countered in the top of the fifth, finding its way to three runs with two outs already showing. Kyle Westhoff got a leadoff single, went all the way to third on an errant attempt to double him off on a line-drive out, and scored on Jake Auer’s two-out double. Payton Harryman’s misplayed liner got Auer across, and another throwing error allowed Harryman to score on the same play as well.

Unfazed by Valley’s equalizer, the Bobcats answered back in the bottom of the sixth. Canaday reached on a one-out error and Harris cleared the deck with a two-run round-tripper to right-center field.

“After the first game we were really pleased to get a lead, then overcome the hardship of losing the lead then able to regain the lead and get a win,” said Hanson. “The sequence of events that led to Valley’s three-run inning was as strange as any I’ve experienced in over 40 years of baseball.

“That episode could have taken the starch right out of any team but Wade got back at it and Joseph Harris came up big in the sixth.”


The Tigers managed only one baserunner outside of the fifth inning — a sixth-inning walk to Iowa Central Community College commit Ben DeTaeye. The rest belonged to Canaday and his defense.

Such was not the case in the opening game, where Valley struck early and often in an eventual 12-5 triumph. DeTaeye went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a two-run homer and four RBIs in all while pitching five strong innings for the win. He struck out seven, walked five and allowed only two hits.

Both of Marshalltown’s hits came in the first three batters of the bottom of the first, when the Bobcats tried to answer Valley’s 5-spot with one of their own. Tate Kuehner singled, Eygabroad walked and Canaday drove them both home with a double. Canaday advanced on a wild pitch before scoring on Will Van Buren’s groundout.

MHS didn’t get another hit until the sixth inning. In the meanwhile the Tigers had worked their way to a 10-3 lead, and both teams scored twice in the seventh.

Bobcat pinch-hitter Ethan Wertzberger got a leadoff walk against Valley reliever Cooper Johnson, and pinch-runner Blake Trowbridge scored on Kuehner’s double down the right-field line. Tyler Dunham singled one out later to bring in Kuehner, but Marshalltown’s rally came up well short of its mark.

Van Buren got the loss, allowing eight runs — though only two were earned — on nine hits and two walks over three innings, striking out three. Carson Williams and Joe Burnes each pitched two innings in relief.

Marshalltown’s next two doubleheaders are on the road, starting Wednesday at Class 4A No. 10 Mason City. Waukee hosts the Bobcats next Monday night, and the regular season ends July 10 with a home doubleheader against Ankeny.

“We desperately need to get back to practice and work some kinks out before we climb on the bus for Mason City,” said Hanson. “Mason City is ranked and will provide us a tournament-like environment. I’m hopeful our guys will be eager to take on the challenge of going on the road to play a good team.

“It’s that time of year. You get going or you get gone.”

At Marshalltown

Game One

Valley 12, Marshalltown 5

VALLEY 502 210 2 — 12 16 3

MHS 300 000 2 — 5 5 4

Ben DeTaeye, Blake Grevengoed (6), Cooper Johnson (7) and Gabriel Miller; Will Van Buren, Carson Williams (4), Joe Burnes (6) and Joseph Harris. W–DeTaeye (1-3). L–Van Buren (2-2). 2B–VAL: Johnson, DeTaeye 2, Kyle Westhoff 2, Alex Whitcomb; MHS: Tate Kuehner, Wade Canaday. 3B–VAL: Miller. HR–VAL: DeTaeye (2). LOB–VAL 9, MHS 7.

Game Two

Marshalltown 5, Valley 3

VALLEY 000 030 0 — 3 2 3

MHS 000 302 X — 5 7 3

Alex Ling and Jake Reck; Canaday and Van Buren. W–Canaday (6-1). L–Ling (3-2). 2B–VAL: Jake Auer; MHS: Harris. HR–MHS: Harris (2). LOB–VAL 1, MHS 3.