PLEASANT HILL - Southeast Polk's Shane Hall tossed a one-hit shutout and the Rams eliminated the Marshalltown baseball team from Class 4A substate play with a 10-0, five-inning victory over the Bobcats in Monday's semifinal.
The 10th-ranked Rams scored in four of their five at-bats while holding Marshalltown (19-23) to just its third shutout defeat of the season.
Southeast Polk (28-13) advances to Wednesday's Substate 6 finals at top-ranked Ankeny (39-2), which defeated the Rams four times during CIML Central Conference play.
Marshalltown pitching issued three walks, three hit batsmen, and the Bobcat defense committed four errors behind five different pitchers.
"The outcome of tonight's game isn't something our guys are real happy with, but the fact of the matter is that we ran into a real good team and we didn't play very well," said MHS head coach Steve Hanson. "We especially struggled offensively; when you don't score you can't win."
The Bobcats managed just three baserunners on the night against Hall (5-1). Connor Bueghly broke up the no-hitter with a one-out single in the third. Kyle Carnahan was hit by a pitch and stole second base in the fourth, while Paul Fienup walked but was erased on a double play on the next pitch.
"I thought our team represented themselves and the community well tonight," said Hanson. "The boys demonstrated discipline and maturity on the field despite the negative and chaotic environment they found themselves in.
"I can speak for the whole staff when I say that we wouldn't trade our guys. Our players showed a respect for themselves and the game that is easier discussed than implemented."
Hall struck out six in the five-inning win. Zach Little, Alex Simon and Bud Smith led the Rams with two hits apiece, and Southeast Polk finished with nine total hits. Dalton Sanford added a two-run single and a sacrifice fly.
MHS starting pitcher Tre Blackford went three innings in the loss, allowing three runs - all earned - on two hits and two walks with two strikeouts. Bueghly, Tyler Moranville, Colton Hanke and Blake Judkins also took to the mound, combining to go just one inning as Southeast Polk posted six tallies in the fourth before ending the game with one run in the fifth.
"In the bigger scope of things it's important not to lose sight of the contributions our seniors made to the MHS baseball programs," said Hanson. "Our seven seniors had a very clean understanding of what it takes to be successful and I have no doubt that determination will benefit each of them in the future."
Playing their last games for MHS were Bennett Mann, Alex Thompson, Zach Moore, Blackford, Bueghly, Carnahan and Fienup.
"Those guys are always welcome in our dugout," added Hanson.