Burlington knocks Iola into losers bracket

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Looking like a sure out for Iola Post 15’s Indians wasn’t. Burlington Post 38’s Dane Birk was able to slide in under the tag of Iola’s Chris Heffern on the play at second base in Tuesday’s game. Burlington went on to win the Zone 4 tournament contest 9-2.

Iola Post 15’s Indians will have to do it the hard way to qualify for the 2009 Kansas American Legion AA State Tournament.
The Indians had a shaky defensive showing in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s winners bracket game with top-seeded Burlington Post 38. That allowed Burlington to score seven runs to break a 2-2 tie.
Burlington defeated Iola 9-2 to move into the winners bracket final. Second-seeded Fort Scott Post 25 rallied to beat Chanute Post 170 5-3 in Tuesday’s late game.
Iola drops into the losers bracket along with Chanute. The Indians will have to win five straight games in the next three days to take the Zone 4 tournament title.
They start with tonight’s game with Linn County Post 248. Iola and Linn County play at 6:30 at Allen County Community College.
Chanute takes on Garnett Post 48 at 8:30 p.m. The winners of tonight’s games play at 8:30 p.m. Friday at ACCC.
Burlington plays Fort Scott at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
The losers bracket final is Saturday and so is the championship game. Times had not been announced on those games as of press time.
Two years ago, Iola Post 15 won the AA Zone 3 tournament championship, qualifying for the state tournament. American Legion AA baseball teams are of 19-and-under players from one or more high schools with the total school enrollment is not more than 500 students.
Against Burlington Tuesday, the Indians scored first in the first inning. Drew Mueller doubled and Mark Bristol beat out a bunt single. Mueller scored later in the inning.
Burlington came right back to gain a 2-1 lead in the second. Iola tied the game in the third.
Mueller was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a one-out single by Derrek McKarnin. Nick Cook’s sacrifice fly to center was deep enough for Mueller to tag up and beat the throw to home plate.
That was it for Iola in the scoring department. Several other opportunities presented themselves but the Indians couldn’t get the key hit they needed.
Burlington came out in the sixth and used small ball with bunts plus took advantage of three Iola errorsto score its seven runs.
The Indians had eight errors in the game.
Cook started on the mound for Iola and went five full innings before Keatin Herder came on in relief in the sixth.
Cook was charged with seven runs on five hits and one walk plus had a strikeout. Herder pitched three innings, allowing two runs on one hit and two walks with four strikeouts.
Dane Birk was the winning pitcher for Burlington. He allowed eight hits and walked four while striking out five.
Bristol had two singles for Iola and Mueller doubled. Hitting a single each were McKarnin, Chris Heffern, Herder, Jerrik Sigg and Drew Walden.
Chanute led Fort Scott 3-1 when Fort Scott scored twice in the fifth the tie the game. Fort Scott added two runs in the seventh for the victory.