Comets off to a 5-1 start

ANKENY – The North Polk baseball team made a big statement by sweeping Ankeny and Adel-Desoto-Minburn at the Tim Heggen Classic Saturday.

The Comets knocked off an Ankeny team ranked No. 1 in Class 4A and the defending 4A state champions by a 3-0 score. North Polk also rolled to a 4-1 victory over ADM as the Comets improved to 5-1 on the season.

All-state pitcher Jacob Hadaway turned in a brilliant performance to shut out Ankeny. He gave up five hits – all singles – and three walks and he mowed down nine batters on strikes in seven innings.

North Polk gave Hadaway all the offensive support he needed in the first inning by scoring all three of its runs.

"Jake threw a gem and had a nice rhythm the majority of the game," North Polk head coach Dave Middleton said. "Our defense was focused and made some nice plays as well, and when you come out in the first inning and put up three runs, that’s a great start."

Brandon Cory singled in Reed Smith for North Polk’s first run after Smith and Wyatt Houge hit back-to-back singles. Clay Cory followed with an RBI single plating Houge, and Brandon later scored on an error after reaching third on a wild pitch.

The top defensive highlights for North Polk came in the fourth and sixth innings.

In the fourth, Ankeny had one runner on with one out when Russell Greene fielded a grounder at second and turned a double play to get out of the inning. In the sixth catcher Grant Lang gunned down Ankeny’s leadoff batter after he got a single and tried to steal second.

North Polk finished with eight hits as a team. Smith, Houge and Brandon collected two hits apiece, and Grant Schiltz joined Clay in picking up one hit.

In the victory over ADM, North Polk jumped out to a 2-0 lead and added two big insurance runs in the fifth inning to knock off the Tigers.

"With the game the night before (against Urbandale) and a 2 ½ hour rain delay, I was a little concerned that we would come down here and play flat," Middleton said. "We were good today and that is a tribute to our guys. They handled themselves well."

Grant Lang stepped up big on the mound and at the plate to lead the Comets to victory.

Lang was the catalyst for the Comets against the Tigers.

Lang earned the win after allowing one earned run on three hits with eight strikeouts and three walks in five innings. He also smacked two doubles and drove in three runs on offense.

Clay singled twice, scored and drove in a run, Greene and Smith both singled twice and scored once and Brandon, Cole Jackson and Grant Schiltz each singled once.

Greene picked up the save on the mound after throwing two hitless innings with two strikeouts.

North Polk 3, Ankeny 0

A 000 000 0 – 0 5 1

NP 300 000 X – 3 8 0

NP: Jacob Hadaway and Grant Lang

WP: Hadaway

North Polk 4, ADM 1

ADM 000 100 0 – 1 3 1

NP 011 020 X – 4 11 0

NP: Lang, Russell Greene (6) and Grant Schiltz

WP: Lang

SV: Greene

2B: Lang 2

URBANDALE – North Polk suffered its first loss of the season with a 4-3 setback at Urbandale Friday.

The Comets fell behind 2-0 early and rallied to tie the score at 3-3 with a run in the fifth. But they were held scoreless over the final two innings and Urbandale picked up the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.

Jacob Hadaway doubled in Russell Greene in the second inning after Greene hit a two-out single for North Polk. In the fourth inning, Hadaway hit an RBI grounder scoring Clay Cory after Cory reached on an error and Greene sacrificed him over to second.

In the fifth Brandon Cory doubled in Wyatt Houge after Houge reached on a two-out single.

Hadaway, Brandon and Cole Jackson each had one double and Greene, Grant Schiltz, Reed Smith and Houge each singled once in the loss. Jackson was the losing pitcher after allowing four runs – three earned – on seven hits with six strikeouts and five walks in seven innings.

Urbandale 4, North Polk 3

NP 010 110 0 – 3 7 3

U 200 100 1 – 2 7 1

NP: Cole Jackson and Grant Lang

LP: Jackson

2B: Jackson, Jacob Hadaway, Brandon Cory.

ALLEMAN – North Polk cruised to its second victory of the season with a 10-2 drubbing of Colfax-Mingo in the home opener for the Comets May 23.

North Polk broke the game open with a seven-run second inning and coasted home to improve to 2-0. Cole Jackson hit a two-run double and John Lackore, Reed Smith, Brandon Cory and Clay Cory each singled in a run for the Comets in the second.

Smith singled and scored on a single by Brandon Cory in the first inning to account for North Polk’s first run. In the third inning, courtesy runner Chris Flynn scored on an error following singles by Jackson and Grant Schiltz, and Grant Lang doubled in a run in the fourth for the Comets.

Smith was the winning pitcher after allowing two runs on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts in four innings. Blake Brauer threw the other three innings and allowed no runs on two hits with one walk and one strikeout.

North Polk 10, Colfax-Mingo 2

C-M 101 000 0 – 2 5 5

NP 170 110 X – 10 13 0

NP: Reed Smith, Blake Brauer (5) and Grant Schiltz

WP: Smith

2B: Grant Lang

JEWELL – A fast start on offense and dominant pitching enabled North Polk to open the season with a 7-1 victory over South Hamilton May 21 in Jewell.

North Polk – the defending Class 2A state runners-up – scored once in the first and fourth innings, three times in the second and twice in the third, building a big early lead. A deep pitching staff took care of the rest, shutting out the Hawks over the final five innings and limiting them to just two hits all game.

Grant Lang was the winning pitcher for North Polk as he allowed just one hit in four innings of work. Austin Hillebo threw the next two innings, allowing one hit and striking out one batter, and Cole Jackson struck out the side in the seventh to seal the deal.

Wyatt Houge drove in three runs for North Polk. Houge had a sacrifice fly in the first inning and a two-run single in the second. Grant Schiltz drove in a run on a bases-loaded walk in the second, Lang and Clay Cory each singled in a run in the third and Jacob Hadaway singled and scored on an error in the fifth for the Comets.

North Polk 7, South Hamilton 1

NP 132 100 0 – 7 6 2

SH 010 000 0 – 1 2 2

NP: Grant Lang, Austin Hillebo (5), Cole Jackson (7) and Grant Schiltz

WP: Lang