Iola High’s Mustangs are headed to Salina.
With timely hitting, flawless fielding and the sudden emergence of sophomore sensation Korbin Cloud, the Mustangs were dominant Tuesday in winning both games of their Class 4A baseball regional.
Iola defeated Baldwin, 13-1, in the semifinal round before scoring four first-inning runs and blanking Rock Creek, 5-0, for the regional title and a berth in next week’s state tournament in Salina.
There were many stars to speak of, none brighter than Cloud, who earned the victory in both games, throwing a combined seven no-hit innings.
That came after Cloud threw a no-hitter to wrap up the regular season last week against Santa Fe Trail. Johnny Vander Meer, eat your heart out.
With the championship, Iola moves on to the state tournament, which starts May 26 in Salina.
TWO other area schools saw their state dreams ended in their respective softball regional finals.
Humboldt dropped an 18-3 decision to Prairie View in their 3A regional, while Yates Center fell to Central Heights, 16-5, in their 2-1A regional title matchup.
STILL to be decided Wednesday are the fates of Iola’s softball team, which is in Wamego for a 4A regional semifinal against Fort Scott, and Crest’s undefeated baseball team, which is at Central Heights for its 2-1A regional baseball semifinal against the host Vikings.
Both of those teams had their tournament action pushed back a day because of the threat of rain.