Iola dominates in zone’s first round

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Sports

July 24, 2015 - 12:00 AM

FORT SCOTT — The P.A. announcer introduced Iola head coach Roland Weir as “Ronald.”
And that’s about the only thing that went wrong for the Indians during their first zone tournament contest on Thursday night.
Iola AA American Legion Post 15 (23-4) blew out Fort Scott Post 25 (10-18) by a final of 20-3 at the LaRoche Baseball Complex in Fort Scott.
The game lasted only three-and-a-half innings because of the American Legion’s run rule, which ends the contest in the fourth after a team is up by 15 or more runs.
There was little doubt the run rule would come into effect after the Indians plated 18 runs in the first inning.
Iola’s lineup batted around three-and-a-half times. Fort Scott had two mound visits and changed its starting pitcher after he was able to record just one out.
By the end of the game, each player had recorded at least one hit. Hunter Murrow led the way offensively, going 4-for-4, including three hits in the first, with five RBIs.
When the first inning mercifully ended, the P.A. announcer tried to alleviate the pain by mentioning that Fort Scott had “a few errors committed in the inning.”
A “few” is putting it nicely.
“You start seeing guys hit the ball and get two or three hits, and then you score five or six runs and then they commit a couple of errors,” Weir said. “So yeah it compounded on Fort Scott. Their heads were down and it just didn’t get any better.”
Surprisingly, Weir added that an 18-run outburst in one inning was something he had seen before. It was a record for this year’s Indians, of course, but the Indians of past teams had accomplished something similar.
It was against Fort Scott, no less.
“Well you know we played Fort Scott two years ago in zone … and we scored probably pretty close to that in an inning,” Weir said. “And that was in the championship game. We ended up beating them 29-5.”
Fort Scott had defeated Iola earlier in the season, but the Indians have grown since the start of the year and have not been shy about flexing their offensive muscles.
Last week in a doubleheader against Burlington, Iola scored a combined 24 runs against Burlington’s six.
After losing five college players after last season, Weir said this year’s squad had lost some of its pop in the lineup. But it appears like this youthful group of hitters have found it as of late.
With their win Thursday night, the Indians face No. 2 seed Silver Lake on Friday at 4 p.m. Silver Lake defeated No. 3 seed Osawatomie in its first-round matchup.
“I watched them play (Wednesday) and they’re a good team,” Weir said of Silver Lake.
The tournament is double elimination, so the loser of Friday’s matchup will have to turn right around and play a matchup at 6 p.m.
After the Indians’ blowout victory, Weir didn’t have much to say. But he wanted to remind his team that it knew there was still a long road ahead of it in order to reach the ultimate goal: The state tournament.
“I just told them, ‘You guys know what you have to do,’” Weir said. “I didn’t have much to say. They know what happened. They’re smart kids, older kids. I said, ‘You guys know what it takes to get to the next level.’”

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