Local Sports

Russell Falls to Iola, Drops to 0-2 in Pool Play

joomplu: 6039SABETHA - The Russell American Legion Post 99 Senior Baseball team dropped their second game of pool play 15-1 to Iola at Somerset Park Thursday, eliminating them from contention for the AA State Baseball Championship.

After falling behind in the first inning on Wednesday in a loss to Silver Lake, starting pitcher Cole Schmidtberger retired the Indians in order in the top of the first inning before Russell stranded Kyle Farmer at third base in the bottom half of the inning after he had drawn a one-out walk.

Schmidtberger who would take loss ran into trouble in the top of the second when the Indians plated three runs on a bases-loaded walk and the first of what would be six Russell errors on the afternoon.  A key moment in that inning occurred when Schmidtberger hit Iola's Blake Ashmore with a pitch on a 1-2 count with one out.

Schmidtberger was lifted during a four-run Iola fourth inning after 75 pitches and replaced by Josh Foster who had beaten Smith Center  last Friday at the Zone Tournament in Hays to help Russell qualify for state.  Iola's runs in the frame scored on one hit, two errors, a sacrifice fly and five walks including three in a row.

Russell scored its lone run in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Tanner Rome which glanced off the glove of third baseman Derek Bycroft who was the starting and winning pitcher.  Bycroft did not allow a hit in his three innings of work.  Iola then put the game away with an eight-run fifth inning which saw Rome relieve Foster on the mound. The game ended after the bottom of the fifth when the run rule took effect.

With the win, Iola clinches the first of two available spots in Pool A in the semifinals which will be held Saturday.  Russell (18-13) fell to 0-2 in the tournament and will close out pool play and the 2018 Legion sesaon on Friday when they face Hoisington at 12:15pm. The game will be carried on KRSL 95.9 and streamed on KRSL.com.

Thursday's Pool Play Results

Marysville 9, Garnett 4 (Marysville qualifies for semifinals, Garnett elminated)

Iola 15, RUSSELL 1 (Iola qualifies for semifinals, Russell eliminated)

TMP 5, Sabetha 2 (TMP qualifies for semifinals, Sabetha eliminated)

Hoisington 8, Silver Lake 5 (Hoisington 1-1, Silver Lake 1-1)

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