Indians drop Zone opener

Iola's AA American Legion baseball team fell, 3-0, to Silver Lake to open Zone 2 tournament play Friday. The Indians play an elimination game Saturday at 6:30 p.m. against Wamego, after rainy weather delayed the scheduled 11 a.m. start.



July 16, 2021 - 10:15 PM

Iola Indians catcher Eli Smith, right, awaits a throw while Silver Lake's Mason Maldonado crosses home plate. Silver Lake scored three unearned runs in a 3-0 win over the AA Indians. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

HUMBOLDT — Iola’s road to a possible state baseball tournament berth just got a bit trickier.

The Post 15 AA American Legion Indians ran into the sterling pitching of Silver Lake’s Conner Pruyser, who pitched a three-hit shutout in Silver Lake’s 3-0 victory.

Ryker Curry delivers a pitch for the Iola Indians AA squad Friday against Silver Lake.Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

Indians pitcher Ryker Curry was his typical dominant self as well, allowing just four hits, but was done in by a pair of Iola fielding errors, which contributed to all three Silver Lake runs.

A leadoff error in the second, followed by a walk two batters later set up Silver Lake’s Kaden Walker in the No. 8 hole.

Walker smacked the only hard-hit ball Curry allowed all night into the gap in right field for a two-run double and a 2-0 lead.

Silver Lake’s third run came on a two-out fielding error in the top of the fifth.

Iola head coach John Taylor credited Pruyser, an all-state pitcher this spring for Silver Lake High School. Pruyser struck out five and didn’t surrender a walk.

“He throws in the mid 80s to the 90s, and we just couldn’t square him up at all,” Taylor said. “They also played great defense when we put the ball in play. They played clean defense, and we didn’t. You can’t do that against really good teams.”

Curry struck out 11 and walked three in his seven-inning complete game.

Dillon Bycroft, Drake DeLaTorre and TJ Taylor had Iola’s three hits. All three reached scoring position, as did DeLaTorre with two outs in the seventh on a Silver Lake error.

But Pruyser was able to record the final out each time to secure the shutout.

The defeat drops Iola to the elimination bracket, and little time to pout.

Drake DeLaTorre laces a single Friday against Silver Lake for Iola’s AA American Legion baseball team.Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

The Indians will take on Wamego today at 6:30 p.m. at the Humboldt Sports Complex in an elimination game.

The winner then must defeat Silver Lake twice in the double-elimination tournament. The second championship game, if necessary, will be Sunday in Humboldt.

 If Iola has an advantage, it’s that the Indians sport several reliable pitchers, enough to pick up three must-win games, Taylor noted.

“I’m not afraid to throw any of our top six kids out there,” he said. “We just need to hit.”