Mustangs fall to Bulldogs

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

INDEPENDENCE — Iola High’s Mustangs are having trouble finding their rhythm for the 2009 baseball season. Wet weather has hampered the efforts of the baseball team to get things going.
The Mustangs dropped a pair of 8-6 decisions Tuesday to host Independence High’s Bulldogs. Iola fell to 1-3 in Southeast Kansas League play and overall.
“We didn’t play very well in either game,” said Mark Percy, Iola High baseball coach.
But at least the Mustangs got to play Tuesday. The SEK softball doubleheader between Iola High’s Fillies and Independence High’s Lady Bulldogs was postponed because of wet field conditions.
In the opening game, the Mustangs had trouble finding the strike zone. Iola used four pitchers and they combined to issue 12 walks.
“We didn’t pitch well and when you give up 12 walks, it’s hard to win a game,” Percy said.
Logan Ellis started but left in the second inning as Ryan Latta came on in relief. Latta pitched four innings then Chris Heffern and Nick Cook pitched the sixth.
Iola started the game well, scoring a run in the first inning but it was costly. With one out, Derek McKarnin drew a walk and injured his shoulder diving back into a base. Drew Mueller walked and Connor Frazell singled to load the bases. Chris Heffern walked to force in a run.
McKarnin stayed in the game until the second inning. He even drove in the second run with a single and scored in frame on a single by Cook.
McKarnin, who was scheduled to pitch the second game Tuesday, was taken out of the game by Percy. Percy said McKarnin’s shoulder will be evaluated today.
Iola took the lead in the game 6-5 when by scoring three runs in the fourth. But the Bulldogs got three runs in the fifth and held on for the win.
Cook had two singles and three RBIs. McKarnin, Jerrik Sigg, Frazell and Clint Heffern each had a single.
“In the second game, Mark and Nick pitched well but we made seven or eight errors and we struck out too many times with guys on base,” Percy said.
Independence led 6-0 after three innings. Iola scored two in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in seventh. The Bulldogs had two runs in the fifth to take in front.
Bristol and Cook pitched, allowing eight hits and only four walks.
Chris Heffern went 3-for-4 with three singles and drove in four runs. Hitting a single each were Bristol, Frazell, Mueller, Cook and Corey Taylor.