ANKENY - Top-ranked Ankeny put its offensive prowess on display and picked up a doubleheader sweep of Marshalltown in Tuesday's regular season baseball finale.
The Hawks (38-2) ran their win streak to 23 games with wins of 11-3 in the opener and a walkoff 8-7 triumph in the nightcap.
Marshalltown (18-22) nearly matched Ankeny hit-for-hit, but the Hawks did more with theirs thanks to 14 walks and two hit batsman issued by Bobcat pitchers on the night.
"Tonight's games were similar to many we've been in this year for a number of reasons," said MHS head coach Steve Hanson. "First, Ankeny has a real nice team with a powerful lineup, which is fine, but we gave up too many extra outs and our pitchers walked double-digits on the night.
"Good teams capitalize on freebies and we simply allowed too many of those."
Ankeny scored in five of its six at-bats in the first game, getting five extra-base hits. Ross Larson finished 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and four RBIs, while Keaton McKinney went 3-for-4. Tanner Buenting, Joel Lanning and Matt Johnson added two hits apiece, including a double and a homer for Johnson.
Bennett Mann led the Bobcat bats going 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. Ryan Mitchell finished 2-for-4 with a run and two stolen bases, but 10 total hits did not amount to enough to beat the Hawks.
Tre Blackford went four innings in the loss on the mound, walking two and striking out two. Tyler Moranville tossed two frames of relief.
Marshalltown held leads of 5-4 and 7-5 in the second game, only to have the Hawks respond with the tying runs both times.
Ankeny scored the game-winning run on a McKinney single one out into the bottom of the seventh. Garrett Fort reached on a one-out error and scored from second on McKinney's hit two batters later.
The Bobcats took their first lead after a four-run third inning, sparked by a bases-loaded single by Blake Judkins and a two-run hit by Mann. Connor Ruddick's dropped third strike allowed him to reach base and Judkins scored for the 5-4 lead.
Judkins and Blackford both had two hits and two runs scored to lead Marshalltown offensively. Kyle Carnahan scored twice while Hunter Hillygus added an RBI single.
"Offensively we moved the ball at times and ran the bases well at times but we took too many strikes and lacked aggressiveness late in game two," Hanson said.
Mann took the loss, allowing five runs on five hits and six walks over 2 2/3 innings.
McKinney went 2-for-4 with three RBIs to lead Ankeny.
Marshalltown opens the postseason at home on Friday night, hosting Des Moines Roosevelt in at 7 p.m. game at the MHS diamond. Ankeny is the top seed in Class 4A's Substate 6, while 10th-ranked Southeast Polk is seeded second.
"We need to utilize the time we have to shore up our weak spots and prepare to play another quality team this Friday night," Hanson added. "It should be fun."