ANKENY - The North Polk baseball team split two games at the Tim Heggen Invitational Saturday at the Northview Elementary School in Ankeny.
The Comets suffered a 9-2 loss to Ankeny Centennial and they defeated Burlington by a 3-2 score to push their season record to 5-3.
North Polk fell behind 9-1 after four innings against Centennial. The Comets ended the game with four hits and three errors and they were unable to take full advantage of four Jaguar miscues.
“We just couldn’t overcome our mental and physical errors,” North Polk head baseball coach Dave Middleton said. “Ryan (Spaulding) and Anthony (Capaldo) showed some grit on the hill and that was really encouraging.”
Colby Cupp singled, walked and scored and Ben Rupe, Colten Parkins and Clark Hood each had one hit for North Polk. Austin McArthur scored one run and Dawson Deitch, Adam Moxley and Spaulding drew one walk apiece.
Spaulding was the losing pitcher after surrendering six earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk in four innings. Capaldo gave up one hit with two strikeouts and one walk in two scoreless innings of relief.
Noah Stober allowed one unearned run on two hits with three walks and two strikeouts in four innings to get the win for Ankeny Centennial. Davis Churchman homered and drove in three runs and Jacob Wilson went deep and had two RBI for the Jaguars.
North Polk rebounded from that setback to knock off Burlington with a run in the bottom of the seventh.
Burlington had tied the game at 2-2 with a run in the top of the seventh. In the bottom of the inning Cupp hit a double, scoring pinch runner Reid Summers with the winning run after Mason Russell was hit by a pitch with one out.
Cupp ended up 3-for-4 with one run and RBI apiece versus Burlington. Parkins went 1-for-2 with a walk, run and RBI; Jeff Lamp was 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI and Rupe added one hit.
Jake Johnson was dominant on the mound against Burlington. Johnson went all seven innings and struck out 14 batters against just five hits and one walk to earn the victory.
“After a disappointing game with Centennial, this was really a test of what we want our identity to be,” Middleton said. “Jake was awesome and we came up with a some clutch hits.”
Xander Williams gave up two runs on two hits with a pair of walks and one strikeout in 1 ⅓ innings of relief to take the loss for Burlington. Tyler Conner tripled, scored and drove in a run for the Grayhounds on offense.
Ankeny Centennial 9, North Polk 2
NP 001 000 1 - 2 4 3
AC 134 100 X - 9 8 4
NP: Ryan Spaulding, Anthony Capaldo (5) and Mason Russell, Ben Rupe (3).
AC: Noah Stober, Tyler Heins (5) and Kaden Bollwinkel.
2B: AC - Jake Gilbert, Jordan Wilson.
HR: AC - Davis Churchman, Jacob Wilson.
North Polk 3, Burlington 2
B 010 000 1 - 2 5 0
NP 100 001 1 - 3 6 1
B: Ethan Zaiser, Xander Williams and Danny Topping.
NP: Jake Johnson and Rupe.
2B: B - Josh Vorwerk, Brian Mundt. NP - Colby Cupp, Jeff Lamp, Colten Parkins, Rupe.
3B: B - Tyler Conner.
ALLEMAN - It wasn’t pretty, but North Polk got the job done against Prairie City-Monroe June 1 at Alleman.
A great pitching performance from Colby Cupp enabled North Polk to overcome six errors in a 2-1 victory over the Mustangs.
“After losing to them last year by one run, this was a nice one to get,” North Polk head baseball coach Dave Middleton said. “I thought Colby stood out on the mound and for the most part our mistakes didn’t hurt us. That’s what we have to do, play through things.”
Cupp held PCM to one unearned run on four hits. He struck out four batters and only walked one.
“I had pitches working and Mason (Russell) did a nice job behind the plate for me,” Cupp said.
PCM’s only score came in the top of the fourth inning. Ethan Thomas reached on an error and eventually scored on an errant pickoff attempt.
But North Polk answered with a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 1-1. Payton Johnson was safe on an error and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Cupp.
Moxley drove in the eventual winning run the following inning for North Polk.
Russell hit a one-out single, Dawson Deitch drew a walk and Payton Johnson was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Moxley then drew a walk to drive in pinch runner Clark Hood with the winning run.
“When we’ve got the momentum we’ve got to use it,” Moxley said. “You’ve only got a couple times when you keep the momentum going your way, so you’ve got to pounce on it when you can.”
Cupp worked around a leadoff single by PCM’s Brayton Van Dyke in the sixth inning, then retired the Mustangs in order in the seventh to put North Polk at 2-2 in the Heart of Iowa Conference.
The Comets finished with six hits. They also benefited from four PCM errors.
Russell was 2-for-3 and Johnson, Cupp, Ben Rupe and Colten Parkins each had one single for North Polk.
Dane Owens gave up one run on one hit with two strikeouts and walks apiece in two innings to take the loss in relief for PCM. Starting Mustang hurler Noah Henkenius allowed one unearned run on five hits with five strikeouts and no walks in five innings.
Henkenius, Van Dyke, Braden Phifer and Chase Kuecker each had one single for PCM.
North Polk 2, PCM 1
PCM 000 100 0 - 1 4 4
NP 000 110 X - 2 6 6
PCM: Noah Henkenius, Dane Owens (5) and Ryan Hill.
NP: Colby Cupp and Mason Russell.
GILBERT - North Polk hit a rough patch after the top of the second inning in an 8-3 Heart of Iowa Conference loss to Gilbert May 30 at Gilbert.
The Comets jumped out to a 2-0 lead after scoring one run in the top of the first and another in the second. But Gilbert countered with a run in the bottom of the second and scored two more times in the third to take the lead for good.
The Tigers added five more unanswered runs with one in the fifth and four in the sixth. North Polk went on a dry spell at the plate after the second, with its only other run coming in the top of the seventh.
“I liked how we came out swinging and being aggressive at the plate, our guys at the bottom of the order gave us some offensive punch,” North Polk head baseball coach Dave Middleton said. “We’ve just have to take the next step and take care of some of the details that help you win.”
Ben Rupe went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs, Jake Johnson doubled and drove in a run, Payton Johnson doubled and scored and Tyler Sinclair was 1-for-1 with two walks and RBI for the Comets. Colten Parkins gave up four earned runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and three walks to take the loss and Clark Hood allowed three earned runs on three hits with one strikeout and walk apiece in one inning.
Nathan Chasey allowed two unearned runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and three walks in 5 ⅔ innings as the winning Gilbert pitcher. Chasey also led the Tigers on offense by going 3-for-4 with a double, triple, run and two RBI.
Gilbert 8, North Polk 3
NP 110 000 1 - 3 8 1
G 012 014 X - 8 10 1
NP: Colten Parkins, Clark Hood (6) and Mason Russell.
G: Nathan Chasey, Steven Lawrence (6) and Ben Perrin.
2B: NP - Payton Johnson, Jake Johnson, Ben Rupe. G - Chasey, Nick Thielen.
3B: G - Chasey.