KALONA — Iowa Mennonite School got a late start to the high school baseball season because the soccer team made it to state.
Maybe that will lead to the team being rested when the postseason arrives.
Until then, IMS is making up for lost time. With their sixth game in five days Friday, IMS was tied at 2-2 after the first inning but never scored again in a 7-2 loss to Central Lee.
The game’s start was moved up due to approaching weather.
As the game went on, IMS got a little anxious and started to press.
“I think it was a combination of their pitching and our approach at the plate,” IMS coach Danny Hershberger said.
The early start wasn’t a factor as IMS has had situations before where it tried to get a game in before the weather so the teams are used to that.
“Central Lee is a good hitting team,” Hershberger said. “We knew we needed to score some runs, but we weren’t able to get ahead.”
Iowa Mennonite likes to get the lead to put pressure on the other team.
After the visitors scored two runs in the first inning, IMS matched that when Eli Ours and Trevor Leyden each singled, then Blake Bontrager’s single plated both runners. Jacob Boller also had a hit in the first. The only other IMS hit was London Schrock’s in the fifth.
IMS only sent three batters to the plate in each of the second, third, fourth and sixth innings and four batters in both the fifth and seventh.
“We had a lot of counts where they were ahead in the count,” Hershberger said. “We were not waiting to get a good pitch. We had a couple pop-ups on a first pitch of an at bat. We needed to have more patience when we fell behind and we didn’t do that.”
Schrock kept the score close, giving up four runs, two earned, on seven hits and three walks through five innings.
“I thought we were playing them tough,” Hershberger said. “But then they were able to get some hits. We started losing command of our pitches.”
Kobe Borntrager pitched a quick sixth in relief, but got in trouble in the seventh inning, giving up three runs. Cody Jones finished the game.
“That is our sixth game of the week and that is our schedule, so that’s what we have to do to deal with it,” Hershberger said. “We’re not as far along in our season as other teams, but maybe we’ll be fresher at the end of the year. We are still trying to play catch-up a little bit. Maybe this coming week, we will be in full season mode.”
IMS is 5-4 and plays at Louisa-Muscatine in a doubleheader tonight.