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Little Cyclones leave little to doubt in sweep of MHS

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - Marshalltown shortstop Sam Greazel (17) tags Ames baserunner Charles Tucker atop the helmet on a play at second base during the second game of Thursday’s Iowa Alliance Conference doubleheader at the MHS diamond. Ames swept the Bobcats by scores of 17-1 and 9-0.

Marshalltown baseball faced some insurmountable deficits Thursday, swept by Ames in Alliance Conference North Division play.

The Little Cyclones won 17-1 in five innings in Game 1 and blanked the Bobcats, 9-0, in Game 2.

Ames led 6-1 in Game 1 before exploding for seven runs in the third inning on five hits and three Bobcat errors.

As a team, Ames is ranked sixth in 4A in both batting average (.315) and slugging percentage (.421).

“[Tayven] Dutton was around the zone, but some pitches were being left up and against that type of team they’re going to get hit around,” MHS head coach Colton Hanke said. “When he was able to locate things, it worked out in our favor, we got them out, and we were able to field it for the most part. It just comes down to pitch location and hitting that spot we need.”

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - Marshalltown shortstop Luke Stalzer (11) makes a catch in shallow left field during the second game of Thursday’s twinbill against Ames.

JJ Schoenfelder notched the only hit against Ames in the opener — the Bobcats only struck out five times against Cullen Smith and Creston Hanson of Ames and just didn’t find the gaps the Little Cyclones could.

Batting was a bit more feast or famine for MHS in Game 2 — Caleb Kusserow and Zander Stupp each had two hits for the hosts but Sullivan Enfield had nine strikeouts in five innings of work for Ames, including a strikeout that stranded two Bobcats in scoring position in the first.

In the third, with Marshalltown down 5-0, Kusserow reached on a two-base error, Sam Greazel was hit by a pitch and Zander Stupp singled them to third and second, respectively, but Enfield secured back-to-back strikeouts to leave the bases loaded.

Eight of the nine baserunners MHS left on base in Game 2 were in scoring position. Marshalltown had runners on 2nd and 3rd before a groundout to first to end the game.

“We had a big spot there, bases loaded, where we could have made it a different ballgame,” Hanke said. “To go strikeout strikeout and not put it in play, it’s hard to know how many runs you could have had, there’s that unknown factor of what we could have done if we could just put it in play somehow.”

There was no big inning for Ames in the nightcap, but more of an incremental slide for the Bobcats into a deficit that proved insurmountable on the night.

Max Martin was 4-for-4 for the visitors with two RBI; Carter Geffre, an Iowa commit, was 3-for-3 with four runs scored in Game 2 and had a three-run home run in Game 1.

“We maintained it to a couple runs, but you can only do that so many innings,” Hanke said. “You have to have innings where you can shut them out. [Game 2 starter Sam] Greazel did a nice job of keeping them off balance and Luke Stalzer came in with a nice relief performance, but we just got ourselves in a whole too early to get out of it.”

Marshalltown is now 4-23 overall and returns to action in Marshalltown on Monday for two with Fort Dodge.

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