Mustangs squeeze in wins

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Iola High’s Derrek McKarnin pitched a three-hitter Monday as the Mustangs defeated the visiting Columbus High Titans 4-3. The Mustangs also recorded a 10-9 win in eight innings to sweep the Southeast Kansas League doubleheader at Riverside Park.

Iola High’s Mustangs put the squeeze on Columbus High’s Titans Monday at Riverside Park. Two squeeze bunt plays by the Mustangs resulted in the winning run in both games.
The Mustangs defeated the visiting Titans 4-3 in the opener of a Southeast Kansas League doubleheader. Iola rallied again to tie the second game in the seventh and plated the winning run in the eighth, 10-9.
“It looked like two teams which hadn’t played for awhile. Despite very poor field conditions because of the wet ground, we decided to go ahead and play these games,” said Mark Percy, Iola head coach.
“The Iola recreation department worked hard to get the fields ready and we had some players out there helping pump water off the field.”
Iola got the first run of the opener. Mark Bristol, who scored twice in the game, led off the first with a base hit and stole second base. Derrek McKarnin, who was the winning pitcher, helped himself with an RBI single.
Columbus tied the game in the third. Bristol singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. A single by Chris Heffern drove in the run.
Lewis Kellogg hit a solo home run for the Titans in the sixth to tie the game up again. The Titans scored another run in the inning for a 3-2 lead.
McKarnin quickly tied the game with a solo home run to lead off the seventh inning. Chris Heffern walked followed by Nick Cook’s single moving Heffern to third. Connor Frazell put down the squeeze bunt to bring in Heffern.
McKarnin allowed three hits, walked one and struck out five for the pitching victory. He also had a single and a home run. Bristol and Cook each had two singles. Chris Heffern and Jerrik Sigg each had a single.
The Mustangs built a 5-0 lead in the second game. Bristol led off the contest with a solo home run. They added two runs in each of the next two innings.
But the Titans pulled even in a five-run fifth. Each team scored a run in the sixth.
Columbus got a two-run home run from Justin Rogers as it scored three times in the seventh inning. To force an extra inning, Iola had to come up with three runs in its half of the inning.
The Mustangs did just that. Chris Heffern reached on an error and Sigg drew a two-out walk. Drew Walden reached on an error as two runs scored. Andy Chester delivered an RBI single to tie the game.
Bristol walked to leadoff the eighth inning for Iola. A throwing error by Columbus’ catch allowed Bristol to advance to third base setting the stage for another squeeze bunt. This time McKarnin got the bunt down and Bristol came down the line to score.
Chester was 3-for-4 in the game with three singles. Ryan Latta hit two singles while Bristol had a home run and a single. Cook doubled. Chris Heffern and Corey Taylor had a single apiece.
Connor Frazell got the win in relief. He pitched 1 2/3 innings allowing no runs on two hits and one strikeout.
Cook was the Iola starter, going 4 1/3 innings and giving up three runs on two hits, three walks and one hit batter. Cook struck out seven. Latta allowed two runs on one hit and two walks. Bristol pitched two innings of relief, surrendering four runs on four hits and one walk plus struck out one.
Iola improved to 8-4 overall and 6-4 in SEK play.
Next up is a makeup doubleheader with undefeated Pittsburg (10-0 SEK, 11-0). Pittsburg comes to Iola Friday then the Mustangs play a makeup doubleheader against Coffeyville Saturday.