Indians win zone opener

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Iola Post 15’s Mark Bristol (16) pitches with a Garnett runner on first base during Tuesday night’s American Legion AA Zone 4 Tournament opener. Iola first baseman Nick Cook starts to charge for a bunt attempt on the pitch. Iola worked out of trouble several times to beat Garnett 6-5.

A day late but not a run short were the Iola American Legion Post 15’s Indians.
The Indians, hosts for the 2009 Kansas American Legion AA Zone 4 Tournament, notched a 6-5 win in the opening game Tuesday. The tournament had to be moved back a day because of rain on Monday.
Iola held on against Garnett Post 48 for the one-run victory on the Allen County Community College Red Devil Field. In Tuesday’s other game, Chanute Post 170 shut out Linn County Post 248, 10-0, in four innings.
Tonight, Iola Post 15 takes on top-seeded Burlington Post 38 at 6:30. Fort Scott Post 25 was the second seed and plays Chanute at 8:30 p.m.
On Thursday there will be two losers bracket games. Linn County plays the loser of the Iola-Burlington game at 6:30 p.m. Garnett takes on the loser of the Fort Scott-Chanute game at 8:30 p.m.
The zone tournament continues Friday with a winners bracket game at 6:30 p.m. That will have the winners of tonight’s games playing each other.
Also on Friday is a losers bracket game of the winners of Thursday’s games. The loser of Friday’s 6:30 p.m. game will play the winner of the 8:30 game in the losers bracket final
The losers bracket final and the championship game will be played Saturday. Times are yet to be determined.
Iola’s Indians had four hits — all singles — in the first inning of Tuesday’s opener. They scored six runs to take a 6-1 lead.
Garnett’s Mud Dawgs kept the heat on the Indians the next six innings. The Mud Dawgs’ Mike Hermreck shut down the Iola offense the rest of the way and didn’t allow another hit.
Garnett scored single runs in the second and third innings to cut the lead in half. Mark Bristol came on in relief of Iola starter Ethan Ericson in the third inning.
Bristol and the Indians worked out of a bases loaded, one-out situation. Bristol made a diving catch near the mound, then threw the ball to third baseman Corey Taylor. The Garnett runner got back in time but Taylor threw the baseball to first to double off that runner and end the inning.
The Indians had to get out of another bases loaded spot in the fifth with two gone. Bristol got a ground ball to second for the final out, which kept the Indians in front.
Garnett had scored twice in the fourth to make it 6-5.
In the seventh inning, the Mud Dawgs’ leadoff hitter drew a walk. Two ground ball outs and a fly ball to center field got the job done and Iola had the victory.
In the first inning, Bristol reached base on a one-out error by the Mud Dawgs. Derrek McKarnin’s single drove in the tying run. Nick Cook drew a walk followed by a base hit by Chris Heffern and Corey Taylor reached on an error.
Keatin Herder had a two-run single for the Indians. Drew Walden got on base via an error but was out on a fielder’s choice by Ryan Latta. Drew Mueller was hit by a pitch and Bristol’s single drove in a run.
Bristol pitched 42⁄3 innings for the win. He allowed two runs on four hits, four walks and one hit batter. He struck out one.
Ericson worked 21⁄3 inn-ings. He was charged with three runs on four hits, three walks and one hit batter. He had one strikeout. Iola had two errors in the game.
Chanute and Linn County played two scoreless innings. Chanute scored four runs in the third and six in the fourth while keeping the Rebels scoreless.
Dustin Eccles pitched a one-hitter for Chanute. Linn County had the hit, a hit batter and a walk in the first inning then Chanute retired the Rebels in order the next three innings.