Paola splits doubleheader with Indians


The Paola American Legion Baseball team split a doubleheader with the Iola Indians on Saturday, July 10, 2010 in games which were originally scheduled for Tuesday, July 6 but postponed by rain.

WLH0168 The Indians took the first game of the evening by a 12-8 count, leading by a 12-3 score in the fifth inning, and then hanging on as Paola put on a furious rally in the bottom of the fifth, to prolong the game, but then were unable to get any closer in the contest. Paola came back to take a 3-1 victory in the second game of what turned out to be a marathon evening of baseball. The second game was a full blown seven inning affair played with wood bats, and the teams didn’t complete the second contest until after 11 p.m.

Things didn’t go well for Paola from the start, as the Indians scored four runs in the top of the first off stater Jack Pursley as Iola used a pair of singles, two walks and a throwing error to plate four runs in the visitors half of the first inning.

Paola tried to keep the game close, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning to cut the Indian lead to 4-2. In the inning, Matt Petelin led off and reached safely on an error, Matt Dickey followed by being hit by a pitch. With one out, Conner Kresin singled in both runners to make the score 4-2 with just one out. But Paola was unable to generate any more offense in the inning.

Neither team could muster any offense in the second inning, but in the top of the third, the Indians again touched up the Paola pitching for a big inning, scoring five runs on four hits, two errors and a walk to open up a 9-2 lead. The Indians plated a single run in the top of the fourth to open a 10-2 lead after four and a half innings of play.

Paola was able to answer with a single run in the bottom of the fourth, making the score 10-3, and when the Indians plated two more runs in the top of the fifth inning, things looked bleak for Paola, as they were just three outs away from a run rule loss with the 12-3 score.

But Paola was not going to go quietly on this night, as they fought back to score five in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Iola lead to 12-8, and climb right back into the game. Dickey and Pursley opened the inning with a pair of walks, and both came around to score on a single by John Pomatto, cutting the Iola lead to 12-5 and ending the run rule fate at least for one more inning.

WLH0221 Tanner Staats grounded out which moved Pomatto to third. A grounder by Austin Ohlmeier scored Pomatto before Jeremiah Daniels singled and stole second. James Young walked, as did Taylor Harris loading the bases for Petelin who responded with a two out single to left scoring Daniels and Young to make the score 12-8. The inning ended on a flyball out by Dickey, but Paola had clawed their way back into the game with the five run outburst.

That was all the offense either team could muster in the rest of the game, and after two more scoreless innings, the Indians claimed a 12-8 victory.

In the second game, Iola jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first, but Paola responded in the bottom of the second with a two run rally that gave them the lead for good. In the second, Kresin got a one out single and Staats drew a walk and both runners came around to score giving Paola the 2-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, John Pomatto led off with a single, then stole second and went to third on a wild throw to second on the steal. Pomatto worked for a straight steal of home, and then for a squeeze play at home, before finally getting the Indian pitcher to throw a wild pitch allowing him to trot home with the insurance run giving Paola a 3-1 advantage.

Paola starting pitcher Conner Kresin did the rest by shutting down the Indian offense, allowing the one run, on just three hits and one Paola error. Iola left eight stranded on the evening.

Paola was originally scheduled to host the Lousiburg Bombers on Tuesday, July 13, 2010, but that game had to be changed, as Paola will travel to Baldwin to play in the opening round of the league tournament at 6:00 p.m. No word yet as to whether or not the Louisburg game will be made up.