The Maquoketa Cardinals baseball team had a tough schedule last week with Central DeWitt and the Marion Indians coming to the Jack Marlowe Athletic Complex. 

The undefeated Sabers muscled their way to a doubleheader sweep, outscoring the Cardinals 25-0 on July 1. The Sabers collected 28 hits, two from homeruns. 

Maquoketa’s Hunter Manning scattered four hits (three singles and one double) going 2x3 in both games. As a team the Cardinals had only seven hits and committed eight errors.

The 22-4 Marion Indians came to town July 5. Marion made quick work of the Cardinals, winning 11-0 in five innings in game one. That topped off the Cardinals’ three-game stretch of being outscored 36-0.

But in the nightcap, the Cardinals kept the Indians close. Starting pitcher Payton Mangler gave up only two runs and three hits in eight innings. The Maquoketa sophomore also helped himself at the plate starting the fifth inning. Mangler walked, then Kaiden Scott hit a sacrifice, and Bryce Hansen ripped a double to right center, scoring Mangler. 

Mitchell Roeder hit a grounder to third which the third baseman could not field; Hansen scored on the error for a 2-1 lead. 

The Indians came right back and scored an unearned run in the top of the sixth on two errors and a stolen base. After a scoreless seventh the Indians loaded the bases but could not score, leading the way for the Cardinals’ third walk-off win this year. 

Freshman Hunter Manning started the eighth with a ringing double to right center. Kannon Coakley reached base on an intentional walk. Jack Dostal drew a full-count walk to load the bases, then Kole Harmon watched four consecutive balls go by for a walk-off score.

After the game, Manning said he was looking for a fastball in his zone so he could “crush it.” He said he was looking to go to second as soon as he hit it.

“It was a great game to get, and there were many outstanding players in the game,” said Cardinals Coach Ray Cavanagh.

He said Mangler threw 76 percent in first-pitch strikes, noting the team’s “gutsy performance” as the defense committed five errors. 

“Then you got Abe Michel catching both games. That was not the plan,” Cavanagh said.  

Exhaustion and dehydration almost played a factor in the double-header, Cavanagh said, but the kids weathered the heat and humidity.

Because the first game lasted only five innings, the coach kept Michel behind the plate in game two. Cavanagh kept checking on Michel, who always responded, “I’m good.”

Cavanagh said he almost took Manning out in the bottom of the eighth inning because the heat was getting to him. Manning looked exhausted, Cavanagh said; however the player reassured his coach that “he was good to hit.”

Manning’s playing time has continued to increase this season. He has a six-game hitting streak, and in those six games he is 10 for 17 (0.588 batting avg.) with four doubles, six singles, five runs scored, three RBI, three stolen bases, and two base on balls. For the year, Manning is tops on the team with a batting average of 0.391. Kane Kopp is next with 0.321.

Central DeWitt 12

Maquoketa 0

(At Maquoketa July 1) 

C (23-0)    130 053 0 — 12 13 0

M (14-15-1) 000 000 0 —   0   4 2

Maquoketa — Hunter Manning 2x3; Mitchell Roeder 1x2; Jack Dostal 1x3. WP — Lucas Bixby. LP — Liam Aunan. 

Central DeWitt 13

Maquoketa 0

(At Maquoketa July 1) 

C (24-0)   001 412 5 — 13 15 0

M (14-16-1)000 000 0 —   0  3 6

Maquoketa — Hunter Manning 2x3; Kaiden Scott 1x3. Doubles — Manning 1. WP — Alex McAleer. LP — Kannon Coakley. 

Marion 11

Maquoketa 0

(At Maquoketa July 5) 

Mar (23-4)      010 640 0 — 11 7 1

Maq (14-17-1)000 000 0 —   0 5 1 

Maquoketa — Mitchell Roeder 1x1; Kole Harmon 1x1; Payton Mangler 1x1; Hunter Manning 1x2; Kaiden Scott 1x2. Stolen Bases — Manning 1; Mangler 1. WP — Dane Carstensen. LP — Roeder 1. 

Maquoketa 3

Marion 2

(At Maquoketa July 5) 

Mar (23-5)      001 001 00 — 2 3 2

Maq (15-17-1)000 020 01 — 3 4 5

Maquoketa — Mitchell Roeder 1x2; Bryce Hansen 1x3; Ryne Gruenwald 1x4; Hunter Manning 1x4. Doubles — Manning 1; Hansen. RBI — Hansen 1; Kole Harmon 1. WP — Payton Mangler. LP — Nick Cole. 

Midland 8

Easton Valley 6

(At Wyoming July 1) 

E (15-15)420 000 0 — 6 6

M (14-10)530 000 0 — 8 6

Easton Valley— Trevor Strait 2x3; Austin Franzen 1x3; Riley Miller 1x3; Nate Trenkamp 1x4; Conor Gruver 1x4. RBI — Gruver 1. Stolen Bases — Strait 1; Gruver 1; Jessen Weber 1. WP — Britan Martens. LP — Trenkamp. 

Midland 8

Easton Valley 2

(At Wyoming July1) 

E (15-16) 000 020 0 — 2 7

M (15-10)104 012 0 — 8 8

Easton Valley — Nate Trenkamp 2x4; Trevor Strait; 1x3; Hunter Holdgrafer 1x3; Riley Miller 1x3; Arik Daniels. 1x4; Austin Franzen 1x4. Doubles — Trenkamp. RBI — Holdgrafer 1; Daniels 1. Stolen Bases — Daniels 1; Conor Gruver 1. WP — Jensen Dodge. LP — Franzen.