Iola A Indians win Ottawa tourney

The Iola A American Legion baseball team hit high gear over the weekend, defeating a pair tough opponents to win a tournament in Ottawa.

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Sports

June 7, 2021 - 9:53 AM

Iola A American Legion players are, from left, Korbin Cloud, Ashton Hesse, Briggs Michael, Rogan Weir, Trevor Church, Sam Hull, Trey Sommer, Brandon McKarnin, Carter Hutton, Holden Barker and Gavin Page. Courtesy photo

OTTAWA — Bob Johnson has a message for his Iola A American Legion squad.

If the Indians’ pitchers can throw strikes, and the squad plays the defense they’re capable of, they should win pretty much every baseball game they play this summer — even against some all-star teams from across the state.

Message delivered.

Iola went 3-1 over the weekend to bring home a wood bat championship in Ottawa.

The Indians finished with a flourish, scoring 11 runs in the sixth inning to defeat Hays, 11-2, in the championship game.

“It’s tough to single out one player,” Johnson said. “We had several guys step up.”

Brandon McKarnin was a primary catalyst in the rally, coming up twice with the bases loaded, and twice driving in all three runners with a double.

Meanwhile, Trey Sommer shut down Hays’s offensive attack, allowing no earned runs and striking out five in four-plus innings of work.

But he was hardly alone with his solid pitching.

Iola also received key mound performances through the weekend by Trevor Church, McKarnin, Korbin Cloud and Gavin Page.

Church pitched a complete game earlier Sunday, a 6-2 win over Overbrook.

On Saturday, Church was able to put in two scoreless innings of work before Cloud came on and tossed four more shutout innings in an 8-0 romp over the Topeka Senators. McKarnin, meanwhile, went 3-for-4 with two doubles on offense, and Page went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs.

Iola 11, Hays 2

Hays took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the title game, and it looked to be enough until Iola’s 11-run explosion.

McKarnin started and pitched into the second inning, before being lifted after reaching his pitch count limit. He allowed two hits with a strikeout. 

On top of Mc-Karnin’s six RBIs, Barker went 2-for-4 with a double and RBI. Church, Page, Sam Hull and Rogan Weir added singles.

Iola 6, Overbrook 2

Overbrook pushed across a pair of unearned runs in the third against Church, but the lefty kept things in check from there. He allowed six hits over seven innings with 10 strikeouts. 

Sommer opened the bottom of the fourth with a walk. He moved to third on Hull’s single and scored on a line drive single by cloud. Church’s ground ball sent Hull home, and Carter Hutton’s RBI single pushed the Indians on top, 3-2. A fielding error allowed Church to score, and McKarnin capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly. 

Sommer led off the fifth with a single. Walks to Hull and Cloud loaded the bases before Church hit an RBI grounder to cap the scoring.

Hutton had a single and double. McKarnin, Sommer, Hull and Cloud all had singles.

Fike 5, Iola 3

Fike scored an unearned run in the first, then plated three more on a pair of infield singles, a walk and a hit batter in the second.

The lead was 5-0 when Hull knocked an RBI single for Iola in the bottom of the fourth.

Church singled and Ashton Hesse reached on an error to start Iola’s fifth. Page hit into a fielder’s choice to send Church home, and Page scored on Barker’s ground ball to pull Iola to within three.

Hutton and Sommer singled to lead off the sixth, and were bunted into scoring position by Hesse, but the rally ended with a fly ball. The Indians also failed to score after Page’s one-out single in the seventh.

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