Hawks’ Cinderella run ends in 2A district final

Trojans’ Randall cranks grand slam; SH outscored 10-0 over final six innings

West Marshall’s Parker Hulbert (7) slides under the tag of South Hamilton pitcher CJ Hewitt on a play at the plate during Saturday’s Class 2A District 13 final in State Center. The Hawks built an early 2-0 lead, but it was all Trojans from there in their 10-2 victory. Marshalltown T-R photo/Ross Thede

STATE CENTER — The clock finally struck midnight on South Hamilton’s improbable and thrilling postseason baseball run Saturday night.

But not before the Hawks put an early scare into West Marshall and gave the program an infusion of some much-needed energy.

South Hamilton (10-19) jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the Trojans, but then went silent in the Class 2A District 13 final. West Marshall (29-6) took the lead for good with five runs in the second inning and then put it away with four more in the fifth to claim a 10-2 victory.

It was the end of a five-game winning streak for South Hamilton, which reached the district final by pulling off a stunning 2-0 victory over fourth-ranked Dike-New Hartford last Tuesday. West Marshall will face No. 8-ranked Van Meter in Marshalltown on Tuesday for the right to advance to the state tournament.

“The last three weeks have probably done more for the baseball program than the first 21⁄2 years I was here,” South Hamilton head coach Kyle Galetich said. “There was excitement and it’s like I told the boys after the game, ‘Look at the people that are still here. What you guys have done is laid a foundation for next year and now there’s going to be some expectations.’ This is definitely building for next year.”

West Marshall outhit South Hamilton 10-5. DJ Klonglan, Blake Barquist, Mateo Balderas, Rylan Harris and Dugan Swenson all singled for the Hawks.

Klonglan and Barquist gave the Hawks the early lead after both reached on bloop base hits and then moved up a base on a wild pitch. Trojans’ eighth-grade pitcher Ryan Reyerson was then called for back-to-back balks that allowed both to trot to the dish unfettered.

But Reyerson, a southpaw, and reliever Cameron Bannister controlled the game from there.

“It was kind of tough-luck hitting for us,” Galetich said. “(The Trojans’ Ross) Randall made two plays at shortstop that I don’t know if I’d seen anybody else make this year against us and I thought we had a lot of good swings, but lefties that are junkers give us problems. (Reyerson) spotted his fastball here and there, but his best pitches were his curveball and his change-up.”

West Marshall batted around in the second against Hawks’ starter CJ Hewitt.

It was 6-2 in the fifth when Randall provided the dagger — a grand slam that exited the park over the 325-foot sign in center field.

“Even at 6-2, we still thought we were within striking distance,” Galetich said. “That four-run fifth, that was kind of the end of it.”

Randall, the North Iowa Cedar League West Division’s Most Outstanding Player, also ripped a two-run double in the second inning and finished with six RBI. David Disney added a RBI double for the Trojans.

Hewitt suffered the loss on the bump. He worked into the fifth inning before handing off to Garrett Grady. Cole Berg took over in the sixth.

The Hawks will say goodbye to five seniors — Barquist, Harris, Swenson, Colton Coy and Gabe Story.

W. Marshall 10, S. Hamilton 2

Class 2A District 13 Final

Saturday at State Center

S. Ham 200 000 0 — 2 5 1

W. Marsh 050 140 x — 10 10 1

CJ Hewitt, Garrett Grady (5), Cole Berg (6) and Zeke Balderas. Ryan Reyerson, Cameron Bannister (5) and Jack Larsen. W — Reyerson. L — Hewitt. 2B — WM: Ross Randall, David Disney. HR — WM: Randall. RBI — WM: Randall (6), Disney, Bannister, Alex Dickey.