Iola rolls past Wellsville

Iola High's baseball team celebrated Senior Night with a pair of lopsided wins over Wellsville. The Mustangs will wrap up the regular season Friday at top-ranked Bishop Ward in Kansas City.

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Sports

May 1, 2024 - 2:24 PM

Iola High catcher Tre Wilson, foreground, tags Wellsville baserunner Caleb Vicek Tuesday during the second inning of the Mustangs’ 10-4 victory. Iola also won the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, 15-0. Photo by Richard Luken

Iola High beat Mother Nature to the punch Tuesday. 

The Mustangs laid down some early thunder, erupting for 12 runs in the second inning against visiting Wellsville.

From there, Iola pitchers Korbin Cloud, Grady Dougherty and Gavin Jones moved like lightning through the Wellsville lineup. 

By the end of the night, Iola had flooded the Eagle squad with runs aplenty, winning both games of their doubleheader, 15-0 and 10-4. The final out was recorded just as the first sprinkles were falling from Tuesday’s brief but waterlogged storm front.

“We played really well,” Iola head coach Levi Ashmore said. “Our bats were hot and Korbin set the tone by pitching well.”

The entire Mustang starting lineup had recorded a hit and driven in at least one run by the end of the second inning of Tuesday’s opener.

Seven of the team’s 17 hits went for extra bases, Landon Weide and Jase Herrmann both had a pair of doubles. Tre Wilson, Ben Kerr and Cloud each had a single and double, while Dougherty, Mac Leonard and Nick Bauer singled twice. Ashtone Hesse also had a single.

Cloud, meanwhile, allowed one hit over three innings with four strikeouts.

The game ended after Wellsville was retired in the top of the third and Iola leading by 15.

The shortened game was pivotal in getting Game 2 done in time before the line of approaching storms hit town.

Dougherty pitched out of trouble in both the first and second innings, including a bizarre second-inning stretch in which the Eagles had two singles and a double, but didn’t score because the lead runner stayed at third until realizing his teammate was approaching. He broke for home, but was tagged out by Wilson several feet in front of the plate.

Iola broke a scoreless deadlock in the second when Dougherty led off the third with a single. Jones, inserted as a courtesy runner, stole third and then raced home as part of a double steal. 

Two walks and a single allowed Wellsville to tie the score in the top of the third before Iola erupted once again.

Cloud got it started with a solo home run. Bauer and Wilson followed with singles. Both came home on Dougherty’s two-run double. Kerr singled in a run to make it 5-1. Leonard drove in a run with a ground ball, and then Wellsville’s pitchers walked four consecutive batters, followed by a passed ball for two more runs, making it 8-1.

Wellsville’s Kai Huffman hit a bases-clearing double in the top of the fourth to close the gap to 8-4.

The lead stood at four until Kerr’s RBI double and Leonard’s run-scoring single capped the scoring in the bottom of the sixth.

Jones retired Wellsville in order in the top of the seventh as occasional flashes of lightning were evident on the western horizon.

ASHMORE is leery of adding importance to any single regular season matchup, but noted Tuesday’s sweep came against a key rival. Wellsville, after all, gave Iola its only Pioneer League loss during last season’s Mustang league championship run.

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