Wellsville sweeps Paola doubleheader


Sometimes, you’re your own worst enemy, and for the Paola American Legion Baseball team, this adage proved true, at least in the first game of a double header played at Wellsville on Tuesday, June 29, 2010. The Legion dropped the first game of the twin bill by a 7-5 score, but gave the Wellsville squad more than they could ask for in assistance in the loss and then followed that up with a lackluster performance in a 12-2 run rule, wood bat game in the nightcap.

WLH0061 The game started well for Paola, as Matt Petelin led off with a single and moved to second on a passed ball. Jack Pursley was hit by a pitch and both runners moved up 90 feet on another passed ball. After a Seth Kern strike out, Conner Kresin responded with a single, driving in Petelin and Pursley and giving Paola a 2-0 lead. Kresin was thrown out at second and Tanner Staats popped out to second to end the inning with Paola on top 2-0.

All the good feelings Paola might have had after the top of the first evaporated into the comfortable early evening air, as Wellsville took full advantage of a giving mood by the Paola defense to score four times in the bottom of the first and take a 4-2 lead. Wellsville scored their four runs on two hits, three Paola errors and a walk.

Neither team scored in the second inning, but Paola threatened in the top of the third, as Pursley led off with a single and moved to second on a single by Kern. But the giving mood of the defense rubbed off on the offense as the pair bluffed a double steal, but Kern wandered too far from first base and was picked off by a wide margin on the throw to first by the Wellsville catcher. Kresin struck out but Staats responded with a two out single, driving in Pursley and cutting the Wellsville lead to 4-3. But, after Staats went to second on a steal, Matt Dickey struck out to end the inning.

Wellsville effectively put the game out of reach in the bottom of the inning, as they used three more hits and another Paola error and a couple of passed balls to put three more runs on the board and take a 7-3 lead.

Paola responded with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, but were just not sharp enough to mount a serious threat through the remainder of the game. In the fifth, Petelin reached on an error to lead off the inning and scored on a single by Pursley. Kern struck out for the first out of the inning before Matt Haefele singled and Staats drew a walk to load the bases. Dickey hit a sharp grounder to short, scoring Pursley for the second run and the second out of the inning, making the score 7-5. With two runners in scoring position, Jeremiah Daniels ended the inning and the scoring threat with a strikeout and that was as close as Paola would come.

The Legion was retired in order in the top of the sixth and did get a runner on base in the seventh as Seth Kern drew a two out walk, but a Haefele grounder to short ended the inning and the game with Wellsville holding a 7-5 lead.

The second game was a carbon copy of the first in that Paola put two runs on the board in the top of the first and Wellsville answered with four in the bottom of the inning, but that’s were the similarities ended, as Wellsville went on to blow past Paola and take a 12-2 four inning run rule decision.

As was the case in game one, Petelin led off and reached safely on an error, Dickey, batting in the second spot singled and Pursley followed with another single, scoring Petelin and giving Paola a 1-0 lead. Kresin grounded into a 1-6-3 double play for the first two outs of the inning, but Dickey scored on the play making the score 2-0. Staats ended the inning with a fly ball to second and once again Paola held a 2-0 lead at the end of a half inning of play.

Unlike game one, there was nothing cheap about the four runs Wellsville put on the board in the bottom half of the inning, a lead off single and a walk by Paola starter Sam Schneider gave Wellsville two base runners with no outs as the bottom of the inning unfolded. The next batter made Schneider and Paola pay, as he belted on 0-1 pitch deep over the right-center field wall for a three run home run and just like that, Paola trailed 3-2. Another single and stolen base gave Wellsville another runner in scoring position, but a strike out and a deep fly ball to center left the home team with a runner on and two outs, but they made Paola pay again as a two out single scored the fourth Wellsville run and put them on their way to the walk off victory.

Neither team scored in the second and Paola was retired in the third, but Wellsville tacked on five more runs in the third on four hits and two Paola errors giving Wellsville a 9-2 lead. When Paola was unable to score in the top of the fourth, it was up to Wellsville to put three more runs on the board in the bottom of the inning to end the game at 12-2.

Mercifully for Paola the losses at Wellsville ended the month of June, and the Legion will return home to face Linn County on Thursday, July 1, 2010 at Russell Field in Paola’s Wallace Park. First pitch is slated for 6:00 p.m. These two teams met twice at the Osawatomie Raiders Tournament with Paola winning both games including a 12-1 victory over Linn County for third place in the event.