Despite a strong performance in the second game of a doubleheader against rival Iola, Chanute fans and players alike were left shaking their heads in disbelief at what transpired at Katy Park on Thursday night.
With a 9-2 lead going into the top of the fifth, Chanute needed to get just three outs to earn a split with the Indians. Instead, the visitors rallied, scoring 10 runs as they walked away with a 12-9 victory.
“It’s basically the story of the entire season. We do some really good things and just kind of fall apart at the end. You can see this group has a lot of potential, we’re just trying to figure out how to hold on and get the win,” head coach Jeremy Wheeler said. “In the first game, we got down early and couldn’t come all the way back, then the last game, we just let it slip away. We’ve been having this same conversation the whole season. They will figure it out.”
In the nightcap, Chanute (12-13) jumped out to a 3-0 lead and upped it to 7-2 in the bottom of the third, getting a strong performance on the mound from Caden Schwegman through the first four innings, finishing with four strikeouts. Of Iola’s 11 hits in the contest, six came in the fifth inning.
Bryan Jackett led Chanute Baseball offensively when he hit a three-run double in the first inning. Aaron Robertson drove in two runs on two hits, while Kaiden Barnett and Rhett Smith drove in a run apiece on base hits.
In the first game of the evening, Iola jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back in a 9-3 win.
The Indians’ Ethan Smith went all seven innings giving up six hits while amassing eight strikeouts.
Smith got the start on the mound, and despite giving up four runs in the first, managed to keep Iola hitters at bay through the fifth, giving up just six hits while striking out six batters.
Chanute made a pitching change in the top of the sixth and Iola responded with two runs in the inning, then capped it off with an additional three runs in the seventh.
Chanute tried to rally in the bottom half of the inning, but could only muster one run.
“Again, I thought we played well. We’re just not getting timely hits when we need them,” Wheeler said. “We will get another chance at these guys on Tuesday night when we play them in Humboldt.”
The doubleheader is scheduled for a 6 pm start at the Humboldt Sports Complex.