Morning Sun
  • Pittsburg splits in baseball, sweeps in softball

  • Low scores marked the Southeast Kansas League doubleheader between Pittsburg and Iola at JayCee Ballpark on Tuesday night.

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  • Low scores marked the Southeast Kansas League doubleheader between Pittsburg and Iola at JayCee Ballpark on Tuesday night.
    Pittsburg seniors Joe Wimmer and Broc Bennett both pitched complete games on Senior Night — however, Wimmer ended on the losing side of a 3-2 score in Game 1 and Bennett held on for a 3-1 win in the second game.
    “I thought our pitchers did an outstanding job,” Pittsburg head coach Mike Wilbert said. “We limited them to single runs in four of 14 innings and that’s usually enough to win ballgames. Unfortunately, our offense didn’t come around quite as much the first game.”
    Wimmer collected half of Pittsburg’s six hits in the first game — his 3-for-4 performance at the plate included a single in the first, a triple down the left field line in the third, a flyout to right in the fifth and a RBI triple down the right field line in the seventh which drew Pittsburg within one run and placed the game-tying run on third base. He added one stolen base and two runs scored against him were unearned.
    “I thought Joe threw an outstanding game,” Wilbert said. “I mean, I know he had two triples and I think he went 3-for-4 in that first game. What more can you ask of a kid? He’s a leader, he’s a great athlete and we’re just lucky to have him. I’m just sorry that he didn’t get the win. I know he wanted it as much as anybody did but he did everything he could.”
    In the second game, Bennett and Iola starting pitcher Clint Heffern exchanged goose eggs for the first 4.5 innings and it was not until the top of the fifth that Iola outfielder Mason Coons reached on the first hit out of the infield.
    In the bottom of the fifth, Pittsburg snapped a scoring drought with some proverbial small ball and some timely hitting, assisted by two Iola errors. Anthony McNeely reached on an error, Bennett successfully bunted for a single and Tanner Ellis forced a throwing error on his bunt, scored McNeely for the first run of the game. Courtesy runner Cole Angermayer scored on a Todd Keller single and Ellis scored on a Wimmer sacrifice fly.
    “We were able to get the ball down a little more and that helped us,” Wilbert said. “We are not a very good bunting team but several of those guys put the ball down and that paid big dividends for us. That’s a big part of baseball and maybe these guys will realize that bunt is important as well and led to that big three-run inning we needed.”
    Wilbert inserted Keller into the lineup (No. 9 spot) for the second game and this move gave Pittsburg a big hit it desperately needed.
    Page 2 of 3 - “Todd’s done that two or three times for us,” Wilbert said. “Todd’s working his way into the DH in the lineup and that gives us another hitter. I felt like that was a big hit. When you don’t have very many hits, every one’s a big hit and he’s done a good job for us.”
    Pittsburg (6-4, 5-3 SEK) earned a doubleheader split with one of the better teams in the SEK.
    “I thought our team played pretty well in the first game,” Wilbert said. “Sometimes you play well in baseball and you just don’t win. This doubleheader is probably the best doubleheader we’ve played all year long defensively. We’ve hit the ball better but their pitching was decent. We had multiple double plays in the doubleheader, our outfield made some good plays, Dylan Gromer threw a few guys out on the bases, all the things that allow you to be successful we did.
    “I’m happy with the second game win, never happy with a loss. I told them I wasn’t happy with the loss but I wasn’t disappointed in the effort or the way that we played. Overall, this was a good afternoon for us.”
    Pittsburg softball
    With its Tuesday night sweep of the Iola Fillies (6-4, 2-1), Pittsburg earned wins No. 7 and No. 8 to double its win total from last season.
    Pittsburg head coach Mary Packard was very pleased by the fact the girls held onto leads in both games and did not allow comebacks, especially in the second game when Pittsburg broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning.
    “We were ahead the whole time and they were threatening,” Packard said of the second game. “Defensively, we were able to stop them. We weren’t hitting super well. It was sacrifice bunts that helped us win.”
    Mercedes Vogel earned the win in Game 2, allowing five hits and walking two batters in her seven innings of work. She also struck out eight Fillies.
    “She had been struggling last week,” Packard said. “She’s been working hard to get her form back.”
    In the first game, Pittsburg utilized a little more offensive firepower. Trailing 4-1 entering the bottom of the fifth, Pittsburg scored two runs in the fifth and three runs in the sixth to earn a comeback win.
    Alaura Short hit in senior Chelsea Williams on a fielder’s choice in the fifth and with two outs, Bethanne Elliott doubled and scored on a Melia Cook RBI. In the sixth, Williams gave Pittsburg a 5-4 lead with a two-run homer to center, a ball which hit the top of the fence and bounded over for a game-winning HR. Elliott added an insurance run with a RBI single, plating Short.
    Page 3 of 3 - Pittsburg improves to 8-6 overall and 6-4 in the SEK. Both softball and baseball play at home against Parsons on Friday.
    Game One
    Iola baseball 3, Pittsburg 2
    IHS 001 011 0 — 3 9 2
    PHS 001 000 1 — 2 6 2
    Jerrik Sigg and Drew Walden. Joe Wimmer and Dylan Gromer. WP: Sigg. LP: Wimmer. 2B: Levi Ashmore. 3B: Joe Wimmer 2. HBP: Mason Coons; Broc Bennett, Tanner Ellis. SB: Ashmore; Wimmer. CS: Clint Heffern. SF: Sigg. SH: Heffern. LOB: IHS 7, PHS 6.
    Game Two
    Pittsburg 3, Iola 1
    IHS 000 001 0 — 1 3 3
    PHS 000 030 X — 3 5 0
    Clint Heffern, Aaron Barclay (6) and Drew Walden. Broc Bennett and Dylan Gromer. WP: Bennett. LP: Heffern. SB: Jerrik Sigg; Spencer Bernhardt. SH: Braden Larson; Bernhardt. SF: Joe Wimmer.
    Game One
    Pittsburg softball 6, Iola 4
    IHS 300 010 0 — 4
    PHS 100 023 X — 6
    WP: Melia Cook. LP: Wescott.
    Game Two
    Pittsburg 2, Iola 1
    IHS 001 000 0 — 1
    PHS 010 100 X — 2
    WP: Mercedes Vogel. LP: Thompson.

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