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Two bad innings doom Bobcats

Mason City makes off with a pair of convincing conference victories

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - Marshalltown’s Ziek Slocum streaks up the first-base line as Mason City’s third baseman prepares to make the throw during the first game of Wednesday’s CIML Iowa Conference doubleheader at the MHS baseball diamond.

One bad inning in baseball or softball can decide the outcome of a game. Marshalltown baseball is getting to know this all too well — with poor innings playing a deciding factor in both games of a doubleheader against Mason City Wednesday evening.

The Bobcats lost 14-4 in five innings and 8-3 to the Mohawks (8-5), dropping to 5-9 on the season.

Game one was summed up by the first two innings. Marshalltown gave up three in the first inning and scored none, and in the top of the second the game was effectively over.

Ten runs from Mason City, including a crushing grand slam from Alex Gold to right field, gave the Mohawks a 13-0 advantage. But it wasn’t just the home run — it was all the walks the Bobcats gave up that frustrated head coach Derek Wrage.

“We’re not gonna compete when we throw the ball that way,” Wrage said. “In game one we really struggled to get the ball over the plate, especially against a good hitting team. I don’t want to take away from what Mason City is, they hit the ball really well, we can’t walk people like that. We can’t get behind in counts like that. No team can, it’s not just an us problem. That’s baseball.”

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

After this inning, Brandon Bates took over on the mound from Kaden Ricken and held Mason City to one run over the final three innings of the game. It gave Marshalltown a modicum of a chance to win, but the Bobcats scored just four runs at the plate. Tyne Weeden brought in two of the four runs, and Nick Rebik and Patrick Landeros had one RBI each. The Bobcats finished with just four hits.

The lack of bite at the plate also came back to haunt the Bobcats in game two of the doubleheader.

Jacob Van Pelt started on the mound in game two and immediately got into trouble by walking home a run. He walked home another, and then multiple Mason City hits meant the Bobcats gave up five runs in the first inning. Van Pelt turned it around and gave up one more run over the next three innings. He walked seven batters, gave up five hits and five earned runs. In the fifth inning, Ziek Slocum stepped up to the mound.

Slocum again gave the Bobcats a chance to get back into the game, giving up just two runs in three innings. Wrage was impressed with Slocum’s time pitching.

But once again the Marshalltown bats were not present. Marshalltown could only get two hits all game long — one each from Van Pelt and Bates. They each drove in a run as well. The Bobcat’s first two runs in the third inning came home without a hit. Landeros scored two of the team’s three runs and walked three times on the night, but the Bobcats just didn’t have the firepower — they left 10 runners on base in the nightcap.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

“It’s obviously frustrating to be that close,” Wrage said. “You get an extra hit or something happens and you put it in play then you’re in better shape. We’ve still got a lot of work to do at the plate, it’s a work in progress.”

Marshalltown has the weekend off and plays Monday at Ankeny.

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