IMS takes one from Wildcats
Only one starter for Iowa Mennonite and Columbus baseball didn’t end up with a hit on the night when the two faced off on Thursday night.
The two teams combined for 26 hits on the night, and despite a quick start for Columbus, Iowa Mennonite was able to overcome a four-run deficit in the late innings to take a 9-7 victory.
“We talked about having a better approach at the plate,” IMS head coach Danny Hershberger said. “Instead of being patient, we were jumping at everything they were throwing and when we settled down, had some pretty good at-bats.”
IMS got a nice boost in the late innings from its pitcher Dallas Nye who came in a relief spot and posted seven strikeouts while not allowing a hit in the final 4 1/3 innings to earn the win.
After Iowa Mennonite started off the game with a run in the top of the first, Columbus responded with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
Two more IMS runs tied it up in the third, but the tie didn’t last long as a four-run bottom of the third from Columbus made it 7-3 in favor of the Wildcats.
IMS was able to chip away at the deficit in the fifth inning with a run, then took the lead in the sixth, plating four in the frame. Another insurance run in the top of the seventh secured the victory for Iowa Mennonite, as they moved to 6-10 on the year.
“It gives us a lot of confidence going forward,” Hershberger said. “We had been struggling a bit and it’s always good to get a win, and the way we got it, coming back from down four is a testament to how our guys are competing and staying after it.”
Columbus fell to 2-13 on the year, and Wildcat head coach Jake McCullough said the team learned of a few things to work on in the game.
“Not to take anything away from Mitchell Griffin, but he was starting to get fatigued on the mound,” McCullough said. “That’s something we’ll have to work on is getting a little stronger and able to close out a game on the mound. We had a few mental errors toward the end of the game due to communication, but these are young kids trying to get more experience and confidence.”
Leading the charge offensively for IMS was Nye, who went 2-for-3, with a homerun, two RBIs and two stolen bases on the night.
For Columbus, Brodrick Wittmann went 3-for-4 in the game, driving in two runs, while Kenan Todd launched a homerun for his only hit of the night.
“It showed a lot of the kids who were thinking, ‘I’m not sure if I can do this,’ and all of a sudden everyone hits the ball,” McCullough said. “It was bittersweet with the loss, but it shows we can do this.”
The Wildcats will travel to take on Highland on Monday night, while Iowa Mennonite will host a baseball tournament on Saturday.