It was another day at the office for the AA Iola Indians at Riverside Park.
The Indians added two more wins to stay perfect at 8-0 on the season against the SEK Hooks of Parsons. Iola’s bats carried their weight, leading the Indians to 12-4 and 13-1 run-rule victories.
Even though the Indians remain undefeated, head coach Jason Bauer believes the team still has more to give.
“I wasn’t happy with our lack of focus,” Bauer said. “It is just small things that you expect them to already know, like base running errors — but overall I am happy with the two wins.”
After a one-run first for the Hooks to start game 1, Cal Leonard leveled the score in the bottom-half with a two-out solo home run just over the left field fence.
Jackson Aikins received his first start on the mound of the summer, walking eight batters despite earning five strikeouts and only allowing one earned run.
“He just needs to pound the zone and let the defense play,” Bauer said. “We were trying to save some pitching for the weekend, so he overall did what we needed him to do today.”
The Hooks tallied two unearned runs in the second inning off a misplayed fly ball by Ryker Curry. The heavy wind saw the ball pulled in from the outfield to the infield, leaving the Iola shortstop in quicksand.
Curry made up for it in the bottom-half, putting a ball in play that was mishandled by SEK’s second baseman, which allowed Eli Smith to level the score at 3-3. Leonard followed up Curry with his second home run of the day, this time a two-run shot to left center field.
Zane Whitney capped Iola’s scoring in the second with an RBI double, giving the Indians a 6-3 lead after two.
Curry extended the Indians’ lead in the third, notching a two-RBI double to make the score 9-3. Leonard earned his fourth RBI of the game to score Curry, giving Iola a seven-run lead entering the fourth.
Nathan Louk replaced Aikins in the fourth to pitch the final two innings. Louk surrendered two hits, allowed no runs, and earned three strikeouts, all coming in the fourth inning.
The Indians closed the door early, earning an eight-run lead after a five run-rule victory. Leonard secured the win with an RBI single to score Aikins.
Game 2 was more of the same for Iola. Lefty Casen Barker was chosen for the mound, and silenced the Hooks in his four-inning appearance. Barker picked up 10 strikeouts, allowing five walks, one run in the first, and only two hits.
“He really settled into a groove after walking four guys and a run in the first inning,” Bauer said. “It was nice to see somebody go out there and give us some innings. He was throwing his fastball, and mixed it in with his curveballs, which had some good bite on them.”
The Indians opened the game with two runs in the first, and continued to build on their lead in the second. RBIs from Leonard, Whitney, Eli Smith, and Brady Wiggin handed Iola a 9-1 lead after two.
The Indians failed to score in the third, but secured the run-rule in the fourth with a two-RBI triple from Aikins, who would later score to secure the 13-1 run-rule win.
Iola play in Garnett today for an eight-team tournament, and open against the hosts at 10:30 a.m.