Mustangs fall short vs. Chanute

Iola's Mustangs had trouble driving in baserunners throughout Friday's 7-4 loss to Chanute, with Blue Comet pitchers striking out 14 IHS batters. The Mustangs are back in action Tuesday at Burlington.



March 25, 2024 - 2:24 PM

Iola High's Ben Kerr connects on a solo home run against Chanute Friday. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

A combination of a ferocious north wind, coupled with Chanute’s potent lineup, told Iola High baseball coach Levi Ashmore the Mustangs would need to score runs aplenty Friday evening.

And while the Mustangs had success at times, their 14 strikeouts were pivotal in a 7-4 defeat.

“It’s a day you have to score more than four runs,” Ashmore said. “To hold them to seven runs through a day like today is actually OK.”

Iola led 2-0 in the second inning, courtesy of Ben Kerr’s solo home run to left, which followed a passed ball that sent Mac Leonard home from third, but Chanute answered quickly.

A hit batter to lead off the Blue Comet third preceded back-to-back doubles and an RBI single to put Iola in arrears, 3-2, but the Mustangs mitigated the damage by gunning down a runner at the plate.

Landon Weide then singled to lead off the bottom of the third and came around to score on Grady Dougherty’s two-out double to even the score.

The game turned with two-out Blue Comet rallies in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings.

Lawrence Chaney and Cohwen Wheeler hit back-to-back solo blasts into the jet stream in the fourth inning to push Chanute back on top, 5-3. Luke Noonan’s RBI double in the fifth accounted for Chanute’s sixth run.

Iola High’s Tre Wilson bats against Chanute Friday.Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

Then, after Iola’s Tre Wilson drove Landon Weide home with a double to pare the deficit to 6-4, Chateau got its final insurance run in the top of the seventh when Nathan Meisch scored from third on a double steal.

Korbin Cloud took the loss, giving up 10 hits, while striking out 10 over six innings.

“Korbin did a good job,” Ashmore said. “He wasn’t happy with his performance, but when the wind’s blowing 30 mph, and you have a 300-foot field, that’s what happens. We’ve just gotta be able to score more than four.”

Leonard pitched a hitless inning of relief, adding two more strikeouts.

Kerr paced the Mustang offense with two hits, including his home run. Weide and Ashton Hesse each singled twice. Dougherty and Wilson each had doubles.

Chanute’s Kris Harding struck out 12 batters over six innings to get the win. 

“It was such a crazy day,” Ashmore said of the blustery weather, that featured temps in the low 40s, and wind chills in the low 30s. “We just have to be tougher than everybody else.”