Two costly innings have Marshalltown baseball paying a steep price.
The Bobcats failed to get their offense to pay dividends and were unable to avoid big innings in the field as Mason City cashed in a pair of CIML Iowa victories Thursday night, winning 7-2 and 11-6.
The Mohawks' wins snapped an eight-game losing streak while extending MHS' current skid to four games with just three games remaining to establish substate seeding.
T-R PHOTO BY TRAVIS HINES
Marshalltown shortstop Grant Thimesch applies a tag to Mason City’s Jeff Dobrynski, left, after a rundown between second and third base Thursday during a CIML Iowa baseball doubleheader. The Mohawks swept the Bobcats, 7-2 and 11-6.
"We just got beat up. We got bloodied, and our guys are embarrassed about that," said Marshalltown head coach Steve Hanson. "It's two real crucial losses for us because we had positioned ourselves pretty well from a seeding perspective, and we just blew that all up."
The Bobcats (12-15, 5-11) led briefly in the opener, 2-1, after scoring a pair in the fourth, but Mason City (11-20, 5-11) quickly added two of their own runs, both unearned, in the fifth to go up 3-2.
That was the margin entering the seventh, where MHS starter Kyle Carnahan was lifted after allowing a leadoff single to the Mohawks' Jack Esser.
Mason City then got back-to-back singles to load the bases off reliever Blake Judkins, who walked in one run and then gave up another two singles as the Mohawks built their lead to five heading into the final half-inning.
Marshalltown managed just four hits off Mason City's Matt Schneider, who struck out five and walked none in his seven innings of work.
The Bobcats faced similiar trouble solving game two starter, Ryan Erickson, who allowed two runs on five hits. He struck out eight and walked two.
The Bobcats were able to push across four runs in the seventh of the nightcap, but the game was already out of hand thanks to a monster fourth inning by the Mohawks.
Mason City tallied five hits, including three doubles, and took advantage of a hit-by-pitch and two wild pitches to score seven runs in the inning.
During their eight-game losing streak (their second such skid of the year), the Mohawks scored a combined nine runs, topping one run in a game just once during that stretch.
The 18 runs they scored this night are the most they've produced in back-to-back games since putting 31 on two-win Des Moines North during a doubleheader in May.
Carnahan took the loss in game one, giving up three earned runs, while Bennett Mann did in the nightcap, allowing eight runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings.
MHS committed six errors on the night and were unable to find much offensive support outside Carnahan, who had four hits on the night.
"Offensively, we were very poor tonight and defensively we were pretty poor tonight," said Hanson. "We didn't pitch it very well tonight, didn't run the bases very well. (Mason City) executed fundamentally better than we did.
"So that's five phases, and we lost them all. And when that occurs in the CIML, you're going to lose."
Carnahan had three hits and two RBIs in game two. He had one double in both games. Alex Thompson was the only other Bobcat to enjoy a multi-hit game, getting two singles in game two, in which he also scored a pair of runs.
"We have some things going on in our lineup, where there are some people we rely on," Hanson said, "and when those guys aren't on base it sure makes it difficult."
Mason City's Tyler Moorehead had five RBIs between the day's two games while Esser and Taylor King had two hits apiece in both outings. Erickson had three hits in the nightcap after hitting a home run in the opener.
Marshalltown - which is joined in Substate 6 by Class 4A No. 1 Ankeny, Des Moines North, Des Moines Roosevelt, Newton and Southeast Polk - has a pair of games today on the road at Des Moines Hoover.
The Bobcats then head to Ankeny for the Brent Prange Tournament and games against Waterloo West and Des Moines Lincoln on Saturday.
"We'll see what we're made of because we play two (tonight), we play two Saturday and if we approach it like we did tonight," said Hanson, "I don't know how much good can come from it."