COLLINS – Steady pitching from Hunter McWhirter and a hot start on offense helped the Collins-Maxwell-Baxter baseball team pull off a season sweep of Nevada with a 7-4 victory over the Cubs Monday in Collins.
CMB jumped out to a 5-2 lead after two innings after plating three runs in the first and two in the second. McWhirter then blanked the Cubs over the next three innings and CMB tacked on an insurance run in the sixth.
Nevada made a run at the Raiders in the sixth inning, but ace pitcher Brady Stover came in and closed the Cubs out as CMB improved to 5-10 on the season and 4-9 in the Heart of Iowa Conference.
"Compared to last year we’ve been taking so many steps forward and I love it," Stover said. "Sweeping these guys is really good; especially since they’ve been good at baseball the past couple years and we haven’t been able to beat them."
Stover is by far CMB’s hardest thrower, with 46 strikeouts in 26 innings coming into the game. He came in with runners on first and second and two outs in the top of the sixth and proceeded to retire the final four Cub batters in order with three strikeouts to pick up the save.
"I love that role," Stover said of being the closer. "In the fifth inning coach (Max Seeman) said ‘is your arm’s ready’ and I said ‘it’s perfect, coach.’ I love closing games because I can throw my heat for two innings and just close her."
McWhirter allowed all four Cub runs on eight hits with nine strikeouts and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. He held the fort, despite having to contend with two untimely CMB errors.
"I knew our aces needed a break because we had two games last Saturday," McWhirter said. "Coach told me to come out here and do the best I could and I did."
McWhirter’s most crucial out came in the top of the fifth inning with his team holding on to a 5-2 lead. Nevada loaded the bases with two outs and McWhirter ran the count full on the Cubs’ Chris Dobernecker before striking him out to get out of the jam.
McWhirter also came up with CMB’s biggest hit of the game.
The Raiders led 3-2 going into the bottom of the second. Nevada pitcher Brandon DeGroot retired the first two CMB batters of the inning, but Stover reached on a dropped fly ball in center field and McWhirter followed with the first home run of his career over the fence in the left-center field gap.
"I saw the pitch hanging up there in the corner so I took a swing at it," McWhirter said. "It felt amazing off the bat. I knew it was gone right away."
In the first inning Stover hit a leadoff double and Seth Balke drove him home. Tucker Maxwell later added a big two-run double with two outs.
In the bottom of the fifth, CMB picked up a run when Balke and Zach Samson hit back-to-back doubles. The final Raider score came when Balke singled in Nate Bishop in the sixth after Bishop drew a leadoff walk.
DeGroot threw all seven innings for Nevada to take the loss. DeGroot ended up with six strikeouts and four walks and he was hurt by three Cub errors in the field.
Dobernecker hit an RBI double for Nevada in the first inning and DeGroot doubled in a run in the second and added a two-run single in the sixth. Patrick Stephenson tallied a double and a single, Bennett Thompson had two singles and Traye Pelzer singled once for Nevada.
The loss put the Cubs at 6-12 on the season and 5-8 in the HOIC.
CMB 7, Nevada 4
N 110 002 0 – 4 8 3
CMB 320 011 X – 7 7 2
N: Brandon DeGroot and Macade Matuska
CMB: Hunter McWhirter, Brady Stover (6) and Brad Ritter, McWhirter (6)
2B: N – DeGroot, Chris Dobernecker, Patrick Stephenson; CMB – Stover, Tucker Maxwell, Seth Balke, Zach Samson
HR: CMB - McWhirter
STATE CENTER – Collins-Maxwell-Baxter split two games at the Rose Festival Invitational Saturday in State Center as the Raiders knocked off Grundy Center and fell short against West Marshall.
CMB defeated Grundy Center by a 5-3 score. The Raiders jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings and held on to edge the Spartans.
Seth Balke was the winning pitcher. He gave up just one earned run on nine hits going the full seven innings and he struck out four with no walks.
Brady Stover, Hunter McWhirter and Aric Broderick each collected two hits for CMB on offense. Stover doubled once and scored twice and McWhirter and Broderick both tallied one double with two RBI.
Zach Samson also doubled, Creighton Caple delivered a single, Balke was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run and Tucker Maxwell ended up 1-for-3 with a steal and a run.
CMB couldn’t overcome a shaky start against West Marshall in a 7-5 loss to the Trojans.
The Raiders gave up three runs in the first and four in the third to fall behind 7-2. Solid pitching from Nate Bishop and quality play from the defense behind him kept West Marshall off the board over the final four innings to give CMB a chance.
In the seventh inning the Raiders rallied with three runs to put a scare into the Trojans, but they couldn’t get all the way over the hump.
Bishop gave up six earned runs on eight hits with five walks and three strikeouts, going all seven innings to take the loss against West Marshall.
CMB totaled six hits on offense. Stover was 2-for-4 with a triple, double, run and two RBI as the top Raider hitter.
Brad Ritter doubled, scored and drove in a run and Samson, Caple and Maxwell each singled once for CMB. Samson also walked and stole a base and Caple and Maxwell both scored once.
Spencer Gauch walked twice and scored once for the Raiders against the Trojans. CMB concluded the tournament with a 4-10 overall record.
Alex Billman gave up two earned runs with five strikeouts and three walks in six innings to earn the win for West Marshall. Dylan Petermeier was 2-for-4 with a double and one run and Cody Berns finished 2-for-3 with one walk, steal, run and RBI apiece to pace the Trojans on offense.
CMB 5, Grundy Center 3
CMB 310 001 0 – 5 9 NA
GC 000 120 0 – 3 9 NA
CMB: Seth Balke and Hunter McWhirter
2B: CMB – McWhirter, Brady Stover, Zach Samson, Aric Broderick
West Marshall 7, CMB 5
WM 304 000 0 – 7 8 NA
CMB 011 000 3 – 5 6 NA
WM: Alex Billman, Dylan Petermeier (7), Nolan Sinning (7) and Jared Johnson
CMB: Nate Bishop and Brad Ritter
2B: CMB – Stover, Brad Ritter; WM – Petermeier
3B: CMB – Stover
SAYDEL – The inability to string hits together doomed Collins-Maxwell-Baxter in a 5-0 loss to Saydel June 18 at Saydel.
The Raiders only tallied four singles all game. They also drew just two walks, suffering their fourth shutout loss of the season.
Zach Samson, Aric Broderick, Tucker Maxwell and Nate Bishop each singled once to account for CMB’s only hits. Broderick and Jacob Stratton each drew one walk for the Raiders.
Samson was the losing pitcher as he allowed five runs – just two earned – on five hits with four walks and two strikeouts in three innings. Bishop threw three scoreless innings allowing four walks and one hit with one strikeout in relief for CMB.
Rece Martin doubled, scored and drove in a run and Brandon Hodges was 1-for-2 with a walk, run, two steals and two RBI for Saydel. Michael Miller threw all seven innings to pick up the victory for the Eagles as he struck out 11 and walked two.
The loss put CMB at 3-9 in the Heart of Iowa Conference.
Saydel 5, CMB 0
CMB 000 000 0 – 0 4 NA
S 203 000 X – 5 6 NA
CMB: Zach Samson, Nate Bishop (4) and Hunter McWhirter
S: Michael Miller and Dylan Coffin
2B: S – Rece Martin