It was a rough night at the office for both offenses Friday in Kalona but in the end, IMS did just enough to knock off Lone Tree 3-2. Through the first three innings at the plate the two teams combined for just one hit while the pitchers, Cameron Gingerich for IMS and Andy Dodson for Lone Tree combined for a dozen strike outs.
At one point in the first three innings Dodson punched out eight consecutive IMS batters. Iowa Mennonite broke through in the fourth when Cameron Gingerich led off with a walk and came in to score on an RBI single by Dallas Nye making the score 1-0. After the game Head Coach Danny Hershberger talked about the importance of his two leaders.
“Yeah, those guys really stepped up, they’re leaders of this team, we needed to get something going and were able to do it, and Dallas got up there and got a two pitches that he could handle and drove them up the middle both times, those guys have been clutch for us in the past and they’re stepping up again this year,” Hershberger said.
Lone Tree got even with a run in the sixth as Riley Stumpf was hit by a pitch and came around to score on a passed ball. Gingerich and Nye combined in the bottom half of the sixth again to give IMS the lead back at 2-1 when Nye drove in Gingerich on another RBI single. In the seventh with the Lions down to their final out Jordan Quigley and Collin Gibson stepped into the spotlight, each doubling, with Gibson driving in Quigley to tie the game. After the game Lone Tree Coach Steve Gibson talked about how his team battled back late.
“We were down, and we could have just said that’s it, we’ll try again next week, but these kids that our on our team are competitors in all the sports they play, and they are used to winning, and I think that showed tonight. Jordan and Colin both came up with some big hits that gave us a start, and hopefully that will give them confidence as we move forward, and it means better things to come,” Gibson said.
This back and forth contest would feature one more twist with a walk off in the bottom of the seventh as IMS scored the winning run without the benefit of a hit as Tanner Leyden walked and came around to score the winner on a passed ball.
Gingerich recorded the win for IMS going all seven innings, surrendering four hits and runs while striking out nine. Andy Dodson suffered the definition of a tough luck loss going six and two thirds, surrendering three hits, three runs walking two and striking out an incredible 17 hitters. Each team is now 1-1 on the season.