NEVADA – For three innings the Nevada baseball team gave North Polk a good fight June 25 at Billy Sunday Field, but a rough fourth inning proved too much for the Cubs to overcome against the No. 1 team in Class 2A as they were dealt a 6-2 setback.
Nevada gave up a run in the second inning and two more in the third to fall behind 3-0. But the Cubs came back with two in the bottom of the third to get right back in the game.
Both Cub runs were unearned.
Patrick Stephenson reached on an error to lead off the Cub half of the third and he stole second and took third on a wild pitch. Alex Good was hit by a pitch two batters later and both runs eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Bennett Thompson also reached on an error in the third and Macade Matuska followed with a walk. But Comet pitcher Russell Greene picked up a big strikeout on the next Cub at bat to get out of the inning without further damage done.
North Polk immediately answered Nevada’s surge with a three-run outburst in the top of the fourth. Chris Flynn led off with a walk and later scored on a wild pitch and Grant Schiltz singled and scored on a passed ball for the Comets.
Grant Lang tripled down the line in right field with two outs for the Comets and later scored his team’s third run of the inning on a single by Greene.
Nevada had a chance to pull closer in the bottom of the fifth.
Good led off the Cub half of the fifth with a single and Matuska and Chris Dobernecker both singled with two outs to load the bases. But Comet relief pitcher Reed Smith got out of the jam with a big strikeout for the final out.
Nevada only picked up one more hit over the final two innings, falling to 6-13 overall and 5-9 in the Heart of Iowa Conference.
“They got really timely hits and we left 10 guys on base and struck out 12 times tonight,” Nevada head coach Doug Anderson said. “(North Polk) coach (Dave) Middleton said we were a couple hits away from winning that game. We’ve just got learn to get timely hits. We’ll work on that.”
Nevada finished the game with five hits. The Cubs put a runner on base in six of seven innings and had multiple players reach base five times.
“Th,ey’re not quitting,” Anderson said. “I’ll tell you what, they keep their heads up and a break here and a break there and we’re beating the No. 2 team. I have all the respect in the world for coach Middleton and it’s always fun to play teams like this because it makes you better no matter what.”
Good was the losing pitcher after allowing all six Comet runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and three walks in four innings. Tyler Shafer threw three strong innings in relief as he didn’t give up a run and held the Comets to three hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
“Tyler is going to be really good,” Anderson said. “He’s got control of both of his pitches most nights. He’s got 3 ½ strong years left with us and we’re looking forward to that.”
Dobernecker ended up with a double and a single, Good singled twice and Matuska picked up one hit for Nevada.
Lang was 4-for-4 with a double, triple and one run and RBI apiece to help North Polk improve to 19-4 overall and remain perfect in the conference at 13-0. Schiltz and Greene both ended up 2-for-4 and Schiltz scored once and Greene drove in a run.
Smith was 1-for-3 with one run and RBI, Matt Cox and Wyatt Johnson both singled and scored and Chris Flynn picked up a run and an RBI.
Greene earned the win after allowing two unearned runs on two hits with five strikeouts and walks apiece in four innings. Smith gave up three hits and struck out five with no walks in three scoreless innings to pick up the save.
North Polk 6, Nevada 2
NP 012 300 0 – 6 12 2
N 002 000 0 – 2 5 0
NP: Russell Greene, Reed Smith (5) and Grant Schiltz
N: Alex Good, Tyler Shafer (5) and Macade Matuska
2B: NP – Grant Lang; N – Chris Dobernecker
3B: NP – Lang