RUNNELLS - Eight errors, 13 walks, and just eight hits.
No matter how you put them together, the numbers didn't add up to much for the Marshalltown baseball team on Wednesday night.
Southeast Polk stifled the Bobcats by scores of 12-0 in five innings and 8-1 in a CIML doubleheader, handing MHS its most decisive doubleheader defeats this season.
The Rams (19-9) played error-free baseball, turned a pair of double plays and walked a combined two batters to take the twinbill in convincing fashion.
"We didn't do much right tonight, but the most disappointing area of play was our defense," said MHS coach Steve Hanson. "We gave Southeast Polk several extra outs, which is simply unacceptable. It's virtually impossible to stay in a game with a good team if you give away outs.
"Southeast Polk played errorless defense in both games and its pitchers threw way more strikes, which made things very difficult for us."
At Pleasant Hill
Southeast Polk 12, Marshalltown 0
W-TJ Fetters (5-0). L-Michael Schrempf (1-2). 2B-SEP: Zach Hamilton. 3B-SEP: Anthony Schneider. LOB-MHS 3, SEP 7.
Southeast Polk 8, Marshalltown 1
W-Garrett Grove (1-5). L-Jack Greene (1-1). 2B-MHS: Joe Rebik. 3B-MHS: Schrempf.
The Rams got out of a defensive jam in the top of the second inning of the opening game and turned the momentum into the only three runs they would need with TJ Fetters on the mound.
A single by Colton Hanke, a walk to Austin Sowers and a sacrifice bunt by Michael Schrempf got Marshalltown into scoring position, but the Rams cut down Hanke at the plate on Ben Rebik's grounder and escaped the inning unscathed.
Southeast Polk followed with three runs in the second, three more in the third and six in the fourth in finishing off MHS (14-13) in just five frames.
Schrempf (1-2) went the distance on the mound for the Bobcats, allowing nine earned runs on 13 hits and five walks. Sowers and Joe Rebik added singles off Fetters (5-0), who walked one and did not strike out a batter.
In the nightcap, Marshalltown finally managed to push across a run with a too little, too late tally in the top of the seventh. Hanke singled but was forced out on Ben Rebik's looper to left field. Schrempf followed with an RBI triple but was left stranded to end the game.
Joe Rebik was 2-for-3 with a double and Justus Bjelland added a fifth-inning single to account for the Bobcats' five hits.
Southeast Polk scored its eight runs off just four hits, benefitting from five walks, three hit batsmen and five MHS errors. Jack Greene (1-1) pitched 5 2/3 innings in the loss, allowing three hits and three earned runs. Matt Battles gave up a hit before getting the final out of the sixth.
Garrett Grove (1-5) earned the win for the Rams, striking out three and walking one.
Marshalltown closes out the week with another road game Thursday at Ankeny, and the Bobcats are back in conference play with a twinbill at Ames on Monday.
"We'll get a look at another quality team tomorrow on the road and we'll have to play with more energy and confidence if we expect to get a different outcome," Hanson said. "The one thing we need to focus on is daily improvement the rest of the way. Our guys aren't afraid to work at it so that will give us a chance."