Iola Junior Legion squad falls to Caney

The Iola Indians Junior American Legion batters had their hands full Monday with Caney pitchers allowing a combined five hits over both games of a doubleheader. Iola's 3-2 and 5-0 losses are the start of a busy week for the Indians.

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Sports

June 11, 2024 - 2:52 PM

Reed Clift of the Iola Junior American Legion team, center, fires to first base Monday against Caney. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

Hits remained hard to come by for Iola’s Junior American Legion squad Monday.

The Post 15 Indians went up against some tough pitching from Caney’s SEK Dawgs.

Iola jumped ahead in the opener and then rallied after Caney took a 3-1 lead, but came up short with the tying run on base in both the sixth and seventh innings of a 3-2 defeat.

Caney’s Jaxon McDaniel then pitched 4⅓ scoreless innings as part of a 5-0 SEK Dawgs win in Game 2.

The losses are part of a busy week for Iola, which was at Pittsburg for a doubleheader Tuesday. The Indians will take on Colony for a doubleheader Friday.

With that in mind, Iola head coach Doug Kerr was intent on limiting the number of pitches for the Indian hurlers, with only one — Tyler Lord — throwing more than 30.

Lord was masterful to start Game 1, shutting down Caney on four hits and no earned runs over five innings with six strikeouts.

Meanwhile, Iola’s Kale Pratt reached on a dropped third strike to lead off the second inning, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch, where Austin Crooks drove him home on an infield single. An error put Crooks at second with still just one out, but the rally ended with a pair of strikeouts.

Iola then put runners on base in every inning after that, but could not score.

Meanwhile, Caney knotted the game on a fifth-inning fielding error, and then tacked on two more runs in the sixth for a 3-1 advantage.

Reed Clift walked with one out in the bottom of the sixth, where he scored on Easton Weseloh’s RBI double, making it 3-2 with two outs, but a ground out ended the inning.

Ty Shaughnessy singled to lead off the bottom of the seventh, but he was caught stealing after the ball trickled away from the Caney catcher, a play that loomed large after Crooks walked. A pair of ground balls ended the threat.

Weseloh had Iola’s only extra-base hit, a double. Crooks and Shaughnessy chipped in with singles.

Shaughnessy also pitched two innings of relief, allowing two hits and striking out one.

Caney pieced together single runs in the first, fourth and fifth innings while scoring twice in the third in Game 2.

Meanwhile, Iola’s Colton Thompson’s third-inning single was the Indians’ first hit of the contest. Weseloh hit an infield single in the fourth as well.

The Indians put two runners on base in the bottom of the fifth, courtesy of a walk and hit batter, but that rally ended with a ground-out.

Shaughnessy, Austin Crooks, Weseloh and Clift shared pitching duties, scattering eight hits over five innings, with five strikeouts.

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