DES MOINES - Marshalltown's early mistakes set them up, and Des Moines East knocked them down.
The Class 4A preseason No. 1-ranked Scarlet baseball team beat the Bobcats 7-1 on Wednesday in a non-conference clash, getting a boost from walks and errors in the early going.
Des Moines East leadoff hitter Malique Ziegler went 3-for-3 with a double, a walk, three runs scored, an RBI and three stolen bases, while fellow all-stater Chino Alcala was 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the returning state qualifiers.
"Obviously Des Moines East has a quality team," said MHS coach Steve Hanson. "All of these guys played on last year's state tournament team, so they are all back with another year of experience.
"We saw one of their top pitchers and their lineup is very talented. We, again, gave them extra outs with defensive mistakes and we walked too many guys."
East (4-1) got out to a 4-1 lead after two innings of play and kept the Bobcats (3-2) at bay behind ace right-hander Robert Hansen. Marshalltown was limited to six singles, scoring its lone run in the top of the third inning when Grant Thimesch walked with two outs, stole second and scored on Colton Hanke's single.
Hansen struck out six and walked two over six innings, giving up five hits. He also hit a batter and balked once. Jeremy Bentley allowed a hit in an inning of relief.
Marshalltown pitcher Dylan Diveney went the distance in the loss, allowing six earned runs on nine hits and three walks with two strikeouts.
East's four-run second inning started with a one-out walk to Tyler Aswegan, and Ryan Kramer followed with a double. Ziegler, Connor Enochs and Alcala followed with RBI singles, and Enochs later scored on a wild pitch.
Alcala also drove in Ziegler with singles in the fourth and sixth innings.
"The guys at the top of their order ran wild on the bases, and that's an area we work hard to control," Hanson said. "We weren't able to slow Ziegler or Enochs down."
Mason McCarville and Michael Schrempf both had two of Marshalltown's six hits in the loss, while Diveney and Hanke also had singles.
The Bobcats, losers of two in a row, try to snap the small skid when the host Indianola at 7 p.m. Friday night at the MHS diamond.
"We have a day to practice and improve before a talented Indianola team comes to town," Hanson said. "We simply aren't good enough to give up extra outs and put people on base, however, nobody is. For us, it's all about playing clean baseball."