ALLEMAN - North Polk didn’t get the break it needed against Bondurant-Farrar in the Class 3A district finals Monday at Alleman.
The Comets, ranked ninth in 3A, received a brilliant pitching performance from Colten Parkins. But North Polk never came through with the clutch hit on offense and Bondurant-Farrar eventually made the Comets pay.
Tanner Bedier belted a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning for Bondurant-Farrar. North Polk put a scare into the Bluejays in the bottom of the seventh, but came up empty, suffering a season-ending 2-0 setback.
“They put it play and were able to do two or three things in a row and we weren’t,” Middleton said. “It wasn’t for a lack of effort. Our guys battled. We had a chance at the end.”
North Polk entered the seventh inning having already gotten out of two jams.
In the top of the fourth inning, Josh Meier singled and Hogan McIntosh reached on an error to put runners on first and second. But Parkins struck out the next two batters to keep the Bluejays off the board.
In the top of the sixth, Bedier and Meier both singled and McIntosh walked to load the bases with just one out. But Parkins again stood tall, fanning Nyanti Gehrke and forcing Jordan Collins to pop out to shortstop to keep the game scoreless.
But North Polk could only hold off the Bluejays for so long.
Carter Meislahn singled with one out in the top of the seventh and after Parkins retired Noah Wosmansky on strikes, Bedier stepped up and cranked one over the fence in left-center field.
North Polk tried its best to answer in the bottom of the inning. Jake Johnson and Mason Russell led off with back-to-back singles, but Bedier retired Joe Husak on strikes and forced Sam Kvidera to fly out to center and Colby Cupp to pop up to third base to end the game.
Parkins had been battling a shoulder injury throughout the season. But when the season was on the line, he threw like he was in peak form, striking out an amazing 15 batters and walking only two in 6 ⅔ innings before having to go out due to the pitch-count rule.
“It was his best effort of the year,” Middleton said. “That was really only his fourth start. He kept us in it. We just needed to spray it around a little more.”
North Polk finished with five hits off Bedier. Cupp was 2-for-3 with a walk; Parkins singled, walked and stole a base and Johnson and Russell each finished with one single.
North Polk topped the 20-win mark for the second season in a row, finishing 22-10.
Bedier struck out seven and walked two, going all seven innings to earn the shutout victory. He also went 2-for-4 at the plate.
“He was good,” Middleton said of Bedier. “He was by far their best player tonight — him and the Meier kid.”
Meier finished 3-for-4 with a double. Meislahn and Ryan Eckert each singled once for the Bluejays, who improved to 16-15.
Bondurant-Farrar 2, North Polk 0
BF 000 000 2 - 2 7 0
NP 000 000 0 - 0 5 1
NP: Colten Parkins, Joe Husak (7) and Sam Kvidera.
BF: Tanner Bedier and Hogan McIntosh.
2B: BF - Josh Meier. NP - Colby Cupp.
HR: BF - Bedier.
ALLEMAN - A clutch homer from Mark Cox and sensational pitching from Jake Johnson lifted North Polk past Benton, 3-1, in the Class 3A district semifinals Friday at Alleman.
Cox crushed a two-run long ball over the fence with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to drive in the winning runs.
The Comets entered the sixth down 1-0. But Colby Cupp led off with a single, Payton Johnson reached on an error and Jeff Lamp drove Cupp home on a sacrifice fly with one out to tie the game and set up Cox.
Jake Johnson retired the side in order during the top of the seventh to finish off Benton and advance North Polk to the district finals with a 22-9 record. Jake ended the game with 11 strikeouts and no walks, giving up just five hits in a dominant complete game to get the win.
Reid Sommers doubled twice and Lamp, Cupp and Colten Parkins each singled once for North Polk on offense.
Benton finished the season with a 17-21 record. The Bobcats’ only run off Johnson came courtesy of a Spencer Touro solo home run in the top of the fourth.
Touro was the losing pitcher for Benton. He allowed three unearned runs and struck out three with no walks, going all seven innings.
North Polk 3, Benton 1
B 000 100 0 - 1 5 1
NP 000 003 X - 3 6 0
B: Spencer Touro and Ian Rupp.
NP: Jake Johnson and Sam Kvidera.
2B: B - Touro. NP - Reid Sommers 2.
HR: B - Touro. NP - Mark Cox.
ALLEMAN - North Polk closed out the regular season with a 7-2 home victory over Bondurant-Farrar July 11 at Alleman.
After a subpar first inning, the Comets came on strong. They outscored the Bluejays 7-0 over the final six innings to improve their record to 21-9.
Mason Russell tossed a two-hitter to get the win for North Polk. Russell finished with six strikeouts and walks apiece and both Bluejay runs were unearned.
North Polk totaled nine hits on offense.
Jeff Lamp was 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs; Payton Johnson also went 2-for-2 with a run, walk and RBI apiece and Russell singled and drove in two runs. Mark Cox and Trevor Mathis both singled and scored; Reid Sommers and Sam Kvidera each picked up a single; Colby Cupp, Sutton Sears and Quinton McArthur scored one run apiece and Colten Parkins delivered an RBI and a steal.
James Hoyle allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in 1 ⅔ innings as the losing Bluejay pitcher. Josh Meier singled and drove in a run for Bondurant-Farrar.
North Polk 7, Bondurant-Farrar 2
BF 200 000 0 - 2 2 2
NP 021 112 X - 7 9 2
BF: James Hoyle, Holden McIntosh (2), Alex Hall (6) and Hogan McIntosh.
NP: Mason Russell and Sam Kvidera.
2B: NP - Jeff Lamp.
ALLEMAN - A lack of extra-base hits on offense and too many walks on the mound hurt North Polk in a 6-3 loss to Carlisle on senior night in Alleman July 10.
The Comets, ranked ninth in the final Class 3A poll, outhit the No. 4 Wildcats on the night, 6-5. But every North Polk hit was a single and Carlisle picked up three doubles.
Carlisle pitchers Owen Durham and Isaiah Henrichs also went all game issuing just one walk. North Polk gave up six free passes, suffering its ninth loss of the season.
North Polk took a 1-0 lead after one inning. Carlisle scored three times in the top of the third and North Polk came back with another run in the bottom of the inning to get within one.
Carlisle plated three more scores in the fourth. North Polk’s only other run the rest of the game came in the bottom of the sixth.
Colten Parkins was 3-for-3 with a run, two steals and two RBIs; Jake Johnson singled and drove in a run and Colby Cupp singled, stole two bases and scored once for North Polk on offense. Payton Johnson stole a base and scored, Jeff Lamp singled once and Mark Cox drew a walk for the Comets.
Sutton Sears was the losing pitcher after allowing six earned runs on five hits with one strikeout and four walks in five innings. Sam Kvidera threw two scoreless and hitless innings with one strikeout and two walks for the Comets.
Durham got the win for Carlisle. He gave up three earned runs on five hits and one walk with four strikeouts in 5 ⅓ innings.
Nate Mortimer doubled and drove in two runs and Durham also pushed two runners across for the Wildcats.
Carlisle 6, North Polk 3
C 003 300 0 - 6 5 0
NP 101 001 0 - 3 6 0
C: Owen Durham, Isaiah Henrichs (6) and Jack Wilson.
NP: Sutton Sears, Sam Kvidera (6) and Joe Husak.
2B: Ben Rowray, Max Goodhue, Nate Mortimer.