Mustangs find winning formula at Anderson County

A combination of timely hitting, shut-down pitching and stout defense gave Iola High's baseball team a productive day on the diamond Tuesday. The Mustangs swept host Anderson County, 11-4 and 5-0.

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April 10, 2024 - 3:24 PM

Iola High’s Tre Wilson (15) slides into second just ahead of the tag from Anderson County infielder Zach Schaffer Tuesday. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

GARNETT — It’s difficult — perhaps impossible — to discuss Iola High’s doubleheader sweep over Anderson County Tuesday, without pointing to the contributions of senior Landon Weide.

All he did was score the first runs of both games — going 2-for-4 in each — before taking to the mound to stymie a Bulldog rally at the end of Game 1, and then throw six innings of shutout ball in the nightcap.

Oh, and to top things off, Weide played catcher in the bottom of the seventh because the starting catcher, Tre Wilson, was needed to pitch the final inning.

It was a performance that would have made the Little Dutch Boy green with envy.

“He had a great night,” Mustang head coach Levi Ashmore said. “He got us going offensively, and his ability to close it down in the first game was huge.”

Iola’s 11-4 and 5-0 victories are the latest indications the Mustangs are on the upward trend, amid a brutally tough schedule that doesn’t appear to be letting up much, with Class 4A power Paola coming to town on Friday.

“Not a lot of teams can go without their No. 1 and 2 starters in a league matchup against a tough team like Anderson County and win,” Ashmore said. “We were able to do that, one, because of how good our defense was, and two, because of how we swung the bats.”

Weide and Korbin Cloud opened the first inning of Game 1 with singles. Both came around to score on Grady Dougherty’s RBI double. Ben Kerr singled in courtesy runner Easton Weseloh, before he, too, came in on Nick Bauer’s RBI double.

Weide then singled and scored on Wilson’s two-out double for a 5-0 lead.

The Mustangs took advantage of a pair of Anderson County fielding errors to start the third. Mac Leonard came home on Lucas Maier’s RBI grounder before Kerr stole home at the back end of a double steal.

Dougherty, who got the start on the mound, was dominant over the first two innings, but tired a bit in the third. Anderson County scored twice. 

He wound up striking out five over 2.2 innings, scattering four hits.

Gavin Jones was first out of the pen, pitching the next two innings with a strikeout.

The score was 8-3 before Cloud was walked to lead off the sixth. He scored on Wilson’s RBI double.

Iola High’s Mac Leonard (10) applies the tag to Anderson County baserunner Ayden Owen Tuesday.Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

Dougherty drove in two more with a two-out single in the seventh. Leonard capped the scoring one batter later with an RBI single.

Iola racked up 15 hits in the victory. Wilson doubled twice, while Weide, Dougherty and Bauer each had a single and a double. Cloud singled twice, as did Leonard and Kerr. Maier had a single.

GAME 2 started out as a pitchers duel between Weide and Anderson County’s A.J. Shaffer.

Weide singled to lead off the third, moved up on a fielding error and scored on Wilson’s RBI single.

The margin stood at 1-0 until Iola rallied for four in the top of the fifth.

Dougherty brought in Cloud with a single, Kerr made it 3-0 with a one-out base hit, and a two-out error off the bat of Maier marked the final tally.

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