Big third inning gets NP past Nevada

Joe RandlemanStaff Writer
Big third inning gets NP past Nevada

ALLEMAN — A big third inning keyed a 7-2 victory for the North Polk baseball team over Nevada in its Heart of Iowa Conference opener Friday at Alleman.

North Polk overcame a sluggish start with a five-run third. The Comets added one run apiece over the next two innings to take a 7-1 lead, and pitcher Brett Haun closed out the Cubs with a strong complete-game effort to put North Polk at 2-0 on the season.

“That really pushed me out there and gave me more confidence - having a cushion,” Haun said. “That carried me through the rest of the game. That was a great inning. We needed that one badly.”

The Comets hadn’t gotten a hit off Nevada ace Tyler Shafer over the first two innings. But Ben Rupe singled to lead off the third and that opened the floodgates.

“He threw one right down the middle and our team is really good at making contact with the ball,” Rupe said. “(North Polk head coach Dave) Middleton always stresses to get the good pitches and I just went on a good pitch.”

Nate Johnson was hit by a pitch and Colby Cupp reached on a bunt single to load the bases for North Polk in the third. Haun then singled in a run and Matt Cox drove in a run on an error to give the Comets a 2-1 lead.

Matthew Antle added a two-run single and Max Karpinske completed the spurt with a sacrifice fly.

“This team’s just got so much energy - you know rallies are common,” Rupe said. “That’s how we always get our rallies - we have so much energy.”

North Polk went up 6-1 after four innings. Luke Leopold drove in a run on a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the bottom of the fourth.

In the bottom of the fifth North Polk added another run. Karpinske singled with one out and scored when Rupe hit an RBI triple to center field.

“It’s always good when you get a triple,” Rupe said. “The guys are always energetic about it. It’s baseball - you love it.”

Nevada got a run in the top of the sixth. Chris Dobernecker reach on an error to lead off the inning and three wild pitches later, he found his way home.

The Cubs had a chance to do more damage with runners on first and second with two outs, but Haun settled down and got Caden Trygstad to fly out to Johnson at first base in foul territory.

Haun then retired Nevada in order in the top of the seventh to close out the victory. He gave up one earned run on eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks, going the full seven innings.

“The curve was probably my go-to (pitch),” Haun said. “I could finally start hitting my spots with that. I think they had a little trouble hitting it.”

Rupe and Cupp both ended up with two hits for North Polk on offense. Haun, Antle and Karpinske added one apiece.

Shafer took the loss for Nevada. He gave up seven earned runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and walks apiece in six innings.

Shafer also went 3-for-4 with a run on offense. Cam Shill hit a double and Trent Stahl, Macade Matuska, Bennett Thompson and Kyle Baughman each finished with one single for the Cubs.

North Polk 7, Nevada 2

N 100 001 0 - 2 8 2

NP 005 110 X - 7 7 1

N: Tyler Schafer and Macade Matuska.

NP: Brett Haun and Matthew Antle.

WP: Haun.

LP: Schafer.

2B: N - Cam Shill.

3B: NP - Ben Rupe.

ALLEMAN — A sixth-inning rally got North Polk past Perry, 5-2, in its season opener May 24 at Alleman.

North Polk trailed 2-1 going into the bottom of the sixth. Then the Comets broke loose for a four-run outburst at just the right time and relief pitcher Jake Johnson closed out the Bluejays to give North Polk a victory to start the season.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Comets were down to their final out when Colten Parkins strolled to the plate with two runners on base. Parkins singled, scoring courtesy runner Reid Summers to tie the game.

Brett Haun followed with an RBI double, scoring Ben Rupe with the eventual winning run. The Comets got two insurance runs in the inning when Matt Cox singled in a run and Haun scored on an error.

In the top of the seventh Austin Carpenter hit a leadoff single for Perry and Max Karpinske followed with a big strikeout. The next two Perry batters each drew a walk to load the bases and bring in Johnson.

Johnson caught Perry’s Kyle Nevitt looking on a strikeout for a huge second out. Johnson then forced Perry’s Janier Puente to hit into a fielder’s choice for the final out of the inning to pick up the save.

Karpinske got the win in one inning of relief. He gave up one hit and tallied two walks and strikeouts apiece.

Parkins got the start for North Polk. He allowed two runs - one earned - on two hits with nine strikeouts and four walks in 5 ? innings.

Haun went 3-for-4 with one double, run and RBI apiece and Luke Leopold was 2-for-3 with two steals, one walk and a run for the Comets on offense. Cox went 1-for-3 with one steal and two RBI, Rupe was 1-for-3 with one steal and one run and Parkins ended up 1-for-2 with one walk, run and RBI apiece.

Puente took the loss after giving up five earned runs on eight hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 5 ? innings. Alexis Garrido threw ? of a scoreless inning in relief for Perry.

Nevitt was 1-for-3 with two runs and a walk, Carpenter had one hit and walk apiece and Brandon Kenyon singled once for Perry.

North Polk 5, Perry 2

P 000 101 0 - 2 3 2

NP 001 004 X - 5 8 2

P: Janier Puente, Alexis Garrido (6)

NP: Colten Parkins, Max Karpinske (6), Jake Johnson (7) and Matthew Antle.

WP: Karpinske.

LP: Puente.

SV: Johnson.

2B: NP - Brett Haun, Luke Leopold.