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Dodgers push past Bobcats twice

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - Marshalltown’s JJ Schoenfelder (23) is tagged out by Fort Dodge catcher Bo Marsh on a play at the plate during the second game of Monday’s Iowa Alliance Conference doubleheader at the MHS diamond. Schoenfelder was thrown out trying to score on a flyout by Ernesto Fonseca in the Bobcats’ eventual 11-5 loss in Game 2.

Marshalltown baseball’s bats were swinging well by the end of Monday night against Fort Dodge.

There wasn’t enough firepower to reel in the Dodgers in a doubleheader sweep for the visitors at the MHS field.

Fort Dodge had a late push to win Game 1, 8-2, and did the same to roll on in Game 2, 11-5.

“It just takes that one inning [on defense],” MHS head coach Colton Hanke said. “Sometimes things don’t go our way but we have to limit it to a run or two because even scoring five runs, that’s hard to come by.”

Game 1 starter Caleb Kusserow and the Bobcats defense had the hosts on the right track to start the doubleheader — Fort Dodge scored two in the first inning and then didn’t have a baserunner past second base until the sixth inning.

“[Kusserow] was making them put the ball in play and our defense did fairly well,” Hanke said. “Like anybody else, if he’s able to get around the zone, we have a chance.”

The Bobcats rallied in the meantime with an RBI single for Garrett Thede in the second and an RBI groundout for JJ Schoenfelder in the fourth inning.

Kusserow’s first two walks of his outing came in the sixth inning and the Dodgers pounced on the extra opportunities with a Jace Johnson bases-loaded single, followed by a sac fly for Tru McBride and an RBI double for Dalton Eckley. Tanner Peterson added another sac fly and the Dodgers were suddenly up 7-2 in the sixth.

“We were able to compete and keep it close, we were just unable to get over that hump,” Hanke said.

The Bobcats only had one baserunner the rest of Game 1 as Fort Dodge sealed the win.

In Game 2, the teams were once again tied early, knotted at 4-all after three innings — Sam Greazel had an RBI and stole home as part of a double steal in the first and Zander Stupp and Schoenfelder knocked in a run each in the third.

Even a two-run inning in the fourth for Fort Dodge was better than it could’ve been when the Bobcats got out of a bases-loaded jam.

Four walks and an error in the fifth inning brought four more Dodgers in, however, and MHS was once again in a big deficit late in the game. Marshalltown pitching walked 11 batters total in Game 2.

Marshalltown finished with 10 hits, leaving seven baserunners on including three in scoring position in the last two innings.

“The guys are putting the ball more in play,” Hanke said. “Guys like Gavin Freiberg had a big hit there towards the end which he hasn’t really done as much for us this year. We just have to keep swinging the bat, putting the ball in play and making them handle the ball.”

Greazel and Stupp each had two hits in the nightcap with RBIs for Greazel, Stupp, Schoenfelder and Ashton Wright.

The Bobcats (4-25) hit the road on Thursday for two at Waterloo East.

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