Cyclones win soggy battle with Grand View

Jordan Gizzarelli

Third baseman Rob Conway led the way for the Cyclones, going 3-4 and driving in two runs, as Iowa State beat Grand View 3-2 on a damp Tuesday afternoon at L.C. Capp Timm Field.

“Conway’s been swinging the bat rather well as of late,” head coach Lyle Smith said. “We need him to stay hot, and I would hope that someone would follow his lead because we’re desperately in need of more offense.”

“I’ve just been seeing the ball pretty good lately,” Conway said. “I had a good [Texas] Tech series, and I’ve just been getting my front foot down and throwing my hands at the ball, something I’ve been doing all year.”

Conway got things going offensively right away for the ‘Clones, singling in shortstop Adam Christ in the bottom of the first to put Iowa State up 1-0.

In the top of the third, it was Grand View’s Mark Morris that put the Vikings on the board with a solo home run. Morris took a Joe Bell delivery deep to right-centerfield that tied things up at 1-1.

Following the top of the third, fans and players alike were treated to a 25-minute rain delay. But once the tarp came off the field, so the offense came up for Iowa State.

This time Conway doubled off of Grand View’s Troy Gilroy with two outs to bring in Spencer Allen who had reached earlier on a single.

With the Cyclones now up 2-1, righthander Mark Hanrahan got the call from the ISU bullpen in the top of the fourth.

Hanrahan proceeded to get himself into a two-out bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth, but Christ, playing shortstop, made what could have been the game-saving play.

Grand View’s Luke Vogel hit a hard ground ball to Christ’s left, Christ made a diving stop, came to his knees and threw Vogel out at first to get Iowa State out of the jam.

“[Vogel is] a dead-pull left-handed hitter, so I knew he was going to go up the middle or the right side. I just played more up the middle, and it was lucky enough I did,” Christ said. “I had enough range to get to it, dove, got it and threw him out.”

In the top of the sixth, Grand View was again threatening to score with runners at second and third, and leftfielder Chris Standley at the plate. This time Hanrahan got himself out of his own jam, by striking out Standley.

Iowa State’s Brandon Cashman scored in the ISU seventh off of a Ryan Wickham single that saw Wickham get gunned down trying to advance to second. Nonetheless, Wickham’s RBI put Iowa State up 3-1 heading into the last two innings.

Senior Jason McNertney took the mound for the Cyclones in the eighth inning looking to earn his first-ever save in an ISU uniform.

It didn’t look good for McNertney in the top of the eighth though as Derek Brant single up the middle scored Tony Hoaglund.

McNertney remained in the game, however, and the backup catcher got Grand View’s Ben Fjelland to flyout to centerfield, preserving the 3-2 win for Iowa State and earning McNertney his first save.

“I had an opportunity before and I didn’t throw very well,” McNertney said. “I was kind of determined to go out there and pitch well, and I did. I was getting my breaking ball over and threw my fastball pretty good, my arm felt good.”

Hanrahan picked up the win for Iowa State, going 3 1/3 innings, giving up one hit, striking out two and walking two.

“I thought Mark [Hanrahan] did a nice job pitching,” Smith said. “Joe [Bell] had one longball off him, but Alex [Donnely] came in and did his job and then Jason [McNertney] came in and did a good job. But Grand View traditionally has always been a very aggressive club. They’ve always swung the bats, and the pitching did a good job today,”