IMS blanks English Valleys
Iowa Mennonite’s Payton Miller was in playoff form on Tuesday night.
The junior pitched a gem from the mound for IMS, striking out eight batters, and giving up only two hits and a walk as he tossed a shutout against English Valleys, giving his team the 4-0 win.
“He did a good job getting ahead of the count early,” Iowa Mennonite head coach Danny Hershberger said. “He was hitting his spots and being aggressive on the mound.”
IMS (11-15) will advance to the next round of districts, and will face Pekin on Thursday. Pekin is coming off a 1-0 win over Sigourney.
Iowa Mennonite didn’t wait long to start the fun, as the second batter of the game, Dallas Nye, launched a solo homerun to give IMS a 1-0 lead.
“We really wanted to score early and it coming from a homerun was even better,” Hershberger said. “We got some momentum from that early in the game. It’s always exciting when you get to tournament play and you want to play your best.”
IMS was able to plate another run on a Nye RBI single in the third inning, then two more runs came across in the fifth to secure the victory and end English Valley’s season.
Stellar defense and senior leadership by Iowa Mennonite helped fuel Miller’s two-hitter.
“We have a lot of seniors who have been out there for a couple years and they just stepped up,” Hershberger said. “It gives the pitcher a lot of confidence too, knowing that the people behind him can make some plays.”
Nye led the charge offensively, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Reggie Hostetler went 1-for-2, drew two walks and scored two runs in the game.
Tyler Messer picked up an RBI for IMS, while Alexander Ockenfels recorded the other IMS run as a courtesy runner.
As the playoffs continue, so does the season for IMS, and the confidence in the team will only grow as they continue
“I think we are just like anyone else and want to play as long as we can,” Hershberger said. “We’ve played well and want to keep the season going as long as possible. This game gave us a lot of confidence going into Thursday’s game.”
Thursday’s game will be played at Pekin and is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.