Legion team triumphs over Pittsburg

The Iola A American Legion team defeated Pittsburg 5-3 on Saturday.



July 6, 2021 - 9:48 AM

Sam Hull bats for the Iola A American Legion baseball team against Ottawa. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

PITTSBURG — A two-run  home run from Trey Sommer and sterling pitching performances from Trevor Church and Korbin Cloud propelled the Iola A American Legion baseball team to a key 5-3 victory over Pittsburg Saturday. 

The fifth-inning blast broke a 3-3 tie, enabling the Indians to win two out of three games over Pittsburg this season, which could be crucial when the teams are seeded for the upcoming zone tournament in Chanute later this month.

Iola followed up the thriller with a 17-0 whitewash over Topeka in their second game of the day.

The victories set up a busy week for Iola (16-5) which hosts Garnett tonight and Chanute Wednesday, both at the Humboldt Sports Complex. The doubleheaders begin at 6 p.m.

“Pittsburg is always a solid club,” Iola head coach Bob Johnson said. “Not a lot of teams can go down there and beat them.”

Sommer’s blast, easily clearing the left field fence at 360 feet away, scored Brandon McKarnin, who moments earlier smacked an RBI single to score Mac Leonard with two outs.

“Trey hit a monster shot,” Johnson said. “It’s one of the hardest hit balls I’ve seen.”

Leonard had walked to start the inning, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Gavin Page. Carter Hutton followed with a line drive headed to left field, but the shot was snared by Pittsburg’s second baseman.

McKarnin and Sommer followed, however, with their key RBIs to give Iola the lead.

Iola trailed 1-0 in the top of the third when Landon Weide walked and Gavin Page singled before both came home on Hutton’s two-run double for a 2-1 lead.

Pittsburg bounced back with two runs in the bottom of the inning to retake a 3-2 lead.

Iola rally came while Church largely stifled the potent Pittsburg lineup, but exited in the fifth inning having reached his 75-pitch limit.

“Trevor’s our ace,” Johnson said. “He gave up a couple of runs, but that’s what happens when you play good teams like that. And Korbin was steady as usual. He did a good job of pounding the zone with his fastball.

Church gave up four hits and struck out seven to earn the victory. Cloud struck out three and allowed just one hit in his scoreless relief outing to pick up the save.

Cloud, Church, Logan Page and Sam Hull added singles to the offensive attack.

GAME TWO had no such drama.

Iola jumped out to a 4-0 lead after half an inning and never looked back in the rout over Topeka. 

The Indians tacked on an eight-run second inning, two in the third and three in the fourth.

Meanwhile, Iola pitchers Logan Page and Sommer combined for a two-hit shutout.

Logan Page allowed two hits with three strikeouts over three innings. Sommer struck out a batter in his perfect inning of relief.

Meanwhile, Hull went 3-for-3 with a double and five RBIs. He singled in a run in the first, drove in two with a double in the second and drove in a pair with a single in the third.