Great discipline pays off for NP in win over CMB

Joe RandlemanStaff Writer
Great discipline pays off for NP in win over CMB

ALLEMAN — The Heart of Iowa Conference baseball matchup between North Polk and Collins-Maxwell-Baxter Monday in Alleman saw the Comets use discipline and execution to overcome overpowering Raider pitcher Brady Stover for a 2-1 victory in eight innings.

Stover had given North Polk fits all game long, finishing with an incredible 16 strikeouts. But the Comets forced him to throw more pitches than CMB head coach Max Seeman wanted.

That resulted in Seeman having to pull Stover after seven innings, with the score tied at 1-1. North Polk took full advantage of his absence in the bottom of the eighth to score the winning run.

“Brady’s pitch count was high enough that I knew I just had to pull him out for the sake of his arm and the sake of the rest of our season,” Seeman said.

With Hunter McWhirter on the mound. North Polk’s Ben Rupe led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to right field. Rupe had struggled before that at-bat, striking out twice against Stover.

“You’ve got to make adjustments,” Rupe said. “Couldn’t give up - you’ve just got to make an adjustment and put the wood on the ball. That’s what I did.”

The Comets then caught a huge break when CMB threw to first as Rupe was attempting to steal, but the Raiders couldn’t relay the throw over to second in time.

“It’s kind of my fault and I’ll probably get a chewing for it, but Middleton gave me the stealing sign to go,” Rupe said. “I was able to get over there.”

Luke Leopold then reached on an error to put runners on the corners. With Colby Cupp at the plate a pitch got away from McWhirter, allowing Rupe to trot home with the winning run.

“It was a good game by all of us,” Rupe said. “Watch out. We’re going to be a good team. I want to see us at Principal Park.”

Rupe, Brett Haun, Matt Cox, Cupp and Max Karpinske each singled for North Polk against Stover. Karpinske also drove in the first Comet run in the bottom of the fifth inning.

With Stover on fire for CMB, the Comets found a way to counter with a brilliant performance from Colten Parkins. Parkins tossed a four-hitter and struck out 11 batters with no walks.

“The curveball came alive toward the end of the game, but I just threw what (assistant coach Wyatt Zoske) called and it worked out I guess,” Parkins said. “Brady is a heck of a pitcher. It just came down to runs toward the end of the game and whoever finished the game. We ended up doing it.”

The win put North Polk at 10-6 overall and 6-3 in the conference. CMB fell to 8-7 and 7-6 respectively.

It’s been an emotional week for CMB following the passing of McWhirter’s father, Brian McWhirter, on Saturday.

“We can definitely tell he’s not his normal self and he probably won’t be for awhile, which is completely understandable,” Seeman said. This is the only game he’s going to be able to be with us this week because of the service and stuff like that. We’re definitely going to miss him; I’m just going to use him as a motivator because he always gives everything he has and he’s so emotional about the game. He cares so much that we need to play for him and play for each other more than playing for individual selves.”

Brady Kemp went 2-for-3 with a double and he scored CMB’s only run in the top of the second inning. Broderick drove Kemp in on a suicide squeeze and Brad Ritter and Creighton Caple each added a single for the Raiders.

North Polk 2, CMB 1

CMB 010 000 00 - 1 4 2

NP 000 010 01 - 2 5 1

CMB: Brady Stover, Hunter McWhirter (8) and McWhirter, Brad Ritter (8).

NP: Colten Parkins and Matthew Antle.

WP: Parkins.

LP: McWhirter.

2B: CMB - Brady Kemp.