Bobcats bow to Tigers in regular-season finale

GILBERT — The regular-season finale wasn’t the tune-up the Marshalltown High School baseball team had hoped it would be.

The Bobcats managed just four hits in a 9-1 loss at Gilbert on Monday night, falling to 6-29 heading into Friday’s Class 4A Substate 5 opener at fifth-ranked Southeast Polk (26-13).

Gilbert (16-12) got to three Marshalltown pitchers for a combined 14 hits, scoring four times in both the first and fifth innings. The Tigers tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth to help celebrate Senior Night for the team’s four graduates.

“The biggest issue we had tonight was getting the big inning stopped,” said MHS head coach Allen Mann. “Seth (Smith) did a nice job for us starting on the mound. He was around the plate and mixed well. Gilbert was able to get into a few of his pitches so give them credit for executing.”

Brock Christenson delivered three hits for Gilbert, highlighted by a two-run single to center field in the first inning. The Tigers scored four runs on six hits in the first, putting the low-scoring Bobcats into an early hole.

Tommy McGuire, Aiden Short, Coal Myers and Grant Konz had two hits apiece for Gilbert. Josh Grouwinkel pitched in with a pinch-hit, two-run double in the fifth.

The Bobcats stranded nine runners on base in the game, including a bases-loaded situation in the top of the fourth. Gilbert starting pitcher Kaden Malloy got out of the jam with his last of six strikeouts before being relieved for the final three frames.

Sam Greazel and Keiler Blue had two singles apiece to account for all four Marshalltown hits. Blue scored the Bobcats’ lone run in the sixth when he led off with a single and came all the way around on wild pitches.

Marshalltown averages just 2.85 runs per game this season after Monday’s one-run performance.

“Offensively we could have done a better job with our approaches at the plate,” Mann said. “We chased some pitches early in counts which resulted in us not hitting the ball hard. We need to be better in that area.”

Smith took the loss on the mound for MHS, allowing four runs on nine hits over three innings. He struck out one. Zander Stupp surrendered four runs on four hits and two walks in his two innings of work, and Caleb Kusserow allowed Gilbert’s last run in the sixth.

Marshalltown’s defense tried to keep the team in the game by turning three double plays, but the Bobcat offense couldn’t match the Tigers.

“We need to put together a great week of practice to have our best effort this season be this Friday against Southeast Polk,” Mann said.


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