North Polk (Alleman) clinched at least a tie for the Heart of Iowa Activities Conference baseball title with a 2-0 victory over Greene County last night at Allensworth Field in Jefferson. The Comets are 11-2 in the league and 19-7 overall, while the Rams fell to 7-6 and 14-10. The two teams meet in a make up game on Monday at 4 p.m. in Alleman to complete the HOIAC schedule and Monday’s game will also be the regular season finale for Greene County. A NP win would give them the conference crown outright.
Friday night’s contest was a pitcher’s dual between seniors Jake Johnson of NP and the Rams’ Ben Wilkins on Senior Night. Johnson tossed a two-hit shut out and allowed only three base runners. He struck nine Rams out and walked just one. Wilkins allowed seven hits, four of those in the seventh inning. He had seven strikeouts walked no one, and hit one batter with a pitch. Just one of the Comets’ runs was earned.
NP scored an unearned run in the sixth to break a scoreless tie. An infield hit and a bunt single contributed to their second run, which took place in the last inning.
Austin Delp had an infield hit and Nick Breon singled to center for the only hits off Johnson, who improved his record to 4-2. Wilkins fell to 5-3 on the season, although he’s allowed just two earned runs in his last two outings, both losses, covering 12 innings on the mound.
After winning eight of nine, Coach John Hupp’s Rams lost their only two games of the week by identical 2-0 scores, first at Ogden, then on Friday night. In those two games, the offense produced a total of eight base runners, five hits, all singles, and no runs.