After a back-and-forth battle in the early innings of the 4A quarterfinal nightcap Wednesday, second-seeded Urbandale used a five-run sixth to propel itself past Marshalltown 8-3 at Principal Park.
The J-Hawks got the game’s run production going in the first, as Carter Troncin hit a towering two-run shot to left center. The ball landed in the outdoor seats of a skybox suite and bounced back onto the field.
Marshalltown responded in the top of the third, posting a three-spot off a Dru Dobbins two-RBI double. Wade Canaday would trade places with Dobbins, roping a RBI double himself to propel the Bobcats past Urbandale 3-2.
Pitching proved to dominate the middle innings as both Bobcat left-hander Nate Vance and Urbandale’s Luke Patzner and Luke Llewellyn silenced opposing bats.
Patzner would exit after 3.1, surrendering three earned runs on five hits with five strikeouts before being replaced by Llewellyn.
Urbandale’s resilient offense would come back in the fifth to capitalize on a hit by pitch to tie the game, as Brook Heinen singled home pinch runner Joshua Neyens to make it a 3-3 contest.
Vance returned for the sixth, before the Urbandale offense chased him out with just one out in the inning. The J-Hawks continued to capitalize on Marshalltown miscues, as Casey Steen belted a bases-clearing triple and scored on a failed pickoff attempt. Ty Cowley later reached on an error and proceeded to score the final run, making it an 8-3 game.
Urbandale's Steen, Noah Cook and Ben DeKruyf all notched multi-hit efforts, as each went 2-for-3, with Steen driving in three RBI.
The J-Hawks will square off against Western Dubuque in the 4A semifinals Friday evening at Principal Park.