• Sophomore catcher Casen Barker prepares to round third base with senior outfielder Isaac Vink right behind him in Iola’s 12-2 home win over Chanute on Friday. REGISTER/TIMOTHY EVERSON

Mustangs get revenge win over Chanute

High School Baseball: Mustangs 12, Blue Comets 2

When Iola baseball first played Chanute to open the season, the Mustangs outhit the Blue Comets despite losing the game 4-3. Iola then left 12 runs on base.

In Friday night’s 12-2, five-inning win, the Mustangs had no trouble bringing guys home. Iola left just four runners on base as they once again out-hit rival Chanute.

“Man, we were hitting the ball today,” head coach Mark Percy said. “Yeah, I like that. We were squaring the ball up and ripping it. That was really good to see.”

With the win, Iola evened the season series with the Blue Comets and moved to 3-1 on the season. They’ve won three game in a row.

Chanute started off strong, scoring two runs off of junior starter Derek Bycroft, both of which were unearned.

Bycroft got the win, going for a strong four innings and allowing two runs (none earned) on five hits and a walk and two strikeouts

Senior Ethan Tavarez came in and pitched a scoreless top of the fifth, allowing three hits.

Iola responded to Chanute’s two runs with four in the bottom of the third, five in the bottom of the fourth and then three in the bottom of the fifth to finish things off.

The 11 hits and 12 RBI’s off those hits were something that Percy was really encouraged about and could be a sign of good things to come.

“Last year we played a lot of games where we played really well but we just didn’t hit,” Percy said. “But this year, so far, we’re hitting the ball better. Now they all might not be recorded as a hit, but we’re making better contact and striking out less. If we do that, then we’ll be pretty darn good.”

Sophomore Calvin Delich continues to be a force, leading the team with three hits and five RBI’s. Bycroft recorded two and two and sophomore Cal Leonard and Tavarez each had a hit and two RBI’s.

“A lot of it is just confidence,” Percy said. “I mean, you’ve got to do things right up at the plate and swing at strikes and all of that but it comes down to being confident. If you start tagging balls like we were, the game starts getting fun. You want to get back up there and hit.”

The Mustangs also had five stolen bases led by two for Bycroft.

Iola will get back into conference action on Tuesday when they travel to Osawatomie for a doubleheader.

“Tuesday’s big because I’d say right now that Osawatomie and Wellsville are at the top of the league along with us,” Percy said. “Those are games that if we want to win the league, we’ve got to come and play. They’re good. Last year we split during the regular season and beat them in regionals, so we’ll have to see.”

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