PRAIRIE CITY — With a piece of the Heart of Iowa Conference title at stake, Roland story ace pitcher Alex Berends was just too good.
Berends hit 13 and allowed just two hits, and the Norse defeated PCM’s baseball team 6-1 on Wednesday night.
The win secured at least part of the Conference title. But after West Marshall lost to South Hamilton in extra innings later that night, the Norse clinched the overall championship.
Berends improved to 6-2 during the season and his earned running average dropped to .45.
“The kid is just fine. We have fought with him in the past. I think the last time we played him we were down three hits,” PCM baseball coach Lewis Daye said. “This is of course. He’s just so damn good.”
PCM’s two pitchers — Trenner Van Dyke and Nick Farver — allowed six runs, but only three were earned as the Mustangs were plagued by six misses.
The Mustangs had one miss in the third, two-run run, had two misses in the fourth, one-run, and two more misses in the seventh, two-run.
“It was just a bad defensive night,” Daye said. “I expected the ups and downs because this squad is so young. We only have two seniors and one full-time senior starter. Sometimes that shows that we are inexperienced.”
PCM (10-10 overall, 8-6 in the HOIC) scored its lone run in the fifth. Kaleb DeVries was hit by a pitch to start the inning. He finished second with Farver’s one-out victim bunt and then scored with Easton Webb’s RBI single.
Webb’s goal came after the Norse made a two-out error on a ground ball to shortstop.
That forced Berends, a DMACC recruit, to throw a few more pitches. He dragged Durant Van Dyke back to the mound on a ground ball to end the game and it came in his 110th place.
Berends hit two in the second and sixth and hit the side in the third and fourth.
Gavin Fenton grabbed a dropped third strike to open the bottom of the first. Gabe Hobbs came in on the second.
In the third, Fenton walked and stole for second, Durant Van Dyke walked and Webb grabbed an error to load the bases. Berends got out of the jam with a strikeout.
In the fifth, DeVries was hit by a pitch, Durant Van Dyke hit a two-out error, and Webb delivered the RBI single. Berends again ended the inning with a strikeout.
Jacob Wendt singles to lead sixth. He was sacrificed for second place by Hobbs and then took third place in a wild pitch.
Berends ended the inning with strikeouts in five of the seven innings.
Separator Van Dyke made his second career start on the mound, throwing five innings. He allowed three runs – two earned – on five hits and knocked out three, walked two and hit two batters.
Farver threw the last two frames and gave up three runs – one earned – on a hit with five strikeouts, a walk and a hit batter.
“We tried to follow a little strategy. They seem to struggle with guys who don’t throw as hard or who don’t use their speed well,” Daye said. “That’s why we decided on Trenner. It worked a bit. The mistakes are what hurt us.”
The Mustangs notched up double-digit wins for the first time in three seasons this summer despite only having one older starter.
They also shared third place in the HOIC with Saydel. The two teams finished 8–6 in league play, splitting their regular season meetings.
“I’m happy with 10 wins and just being carried away by the top two teams,” said Daye. “I was impressed with how they played this year. They showed up and showed themselves. I can not complain.”
Roland-Story (19-6, 13-1) had five hits, three walks, three hit batters and stole eight bases. The Norse go into the postseason on a five-game winning streak.
PCM opens the Class 2A district tournament game against Pleasantville at 5:00 p.m. Saturday in Greenfield.
State Trojans beat Mustangs twice
PRAIRIE CITY — Fast starts propelled 2A No. 6 West Marshall to a double-header sweep on the road against PCM on Monday, but the Mustangs pushed one of the league’s best teams into the Finals.
A three-point run first helped West Marshall to an 8-6 win over PCM in the opener, and then a two-point run in the second frame catapulted the Trojans to a 2-1 win in the nightcap.
“We came out and they’re number six in the state and we went toe-to-toe with them,” Daye said. “They threw us their best pitcher and we got our first deserved runs against him this year. That was the closest we’ve played to them since they joined the conference.”
The Trojans’ ace pitcher is Owen Siegert. He started on the mound in the opener and beat out nine batters but also walked six and allowed three earned runs in five innings.
Both teams had seven goals in game one. West Marshall (26-8, 12-2) didn’t do enough to win the game until they scored two goals in the top of the seventh. PCM even pulled at 6-all with a sixth run four.
Zeb Padget (3-1) went the distance on the mound for PCM. He allowed eight carries – six earned – on seven hits and knocked out three, walked five and hit one hitter. He threw 112 pitches.
Durant Van Dyke had three of the team’s seven hits and DeVries registered two. Van Dyke doubled twice and both players scored a run.
Fenton tripled, walked once and had two RBIs, Webb doubled and registered three RBIs, and Farver hit a run and had one RBI.
Trigg Steenhoek and Padget both walked twice, Adrien Robbins walked once and scored a run and Carson Hansen scored two goals.
Kinnick Christensen led the Trojans with two doubles and three RBIs.
The two teams were limited to seven hits together in the nightcap.
Christensen earned the pitching win for West Marshall, allowing a deserved run and batting five in four innings. Will Dawley saved three innings, struck out three and allowed just one hit.
Durant Van Dyke (2-4) was the starter for PCM and he went the distance. The senior allowed two earned runs (both in the second inning) and three hits and hit out eight, walked three and hit one in six innings. He threw 96 pitches.
The Mustangs scored their run in the first, totaling four hits and two penalties.
Farver collected two hits, walked once and scored a run to lead PCM’s offense.
Fenton and Steenhoek had a hit each, Durant Van Dyke and Hobbs walked once, and DeVries was hit by a throw.