Mustangs crushing the season

Small team sees much success on the diamond


Photo by Karima Hall

Senior Drew Faulhaber takes his turn at the plate against Osawatomie.

By Ryan Eyster, Staff Writer

Iola baseball is second in the Pioneer League, following Santa Fe Trail, despite being the youngest team in the league. So far, the Mustangs have lost only two games.

During the latest four-game streak, the Mustangs won one game by 14 points.

“We crushed them,” sophomore Braden Plumlee said of the matchup with Central Heights.
Although winning 15-1 is impressive, the Mustangs are not without their fair share of struggles.

“Other teams have strong pitchers who are returning from other seasons, and we only have one older pitcher,” said Kohl Endicott, who is one of the only two seniors on the team. The majority of this year’s varsity players are freshmen and sophomores.

“We have about 10 players who are freshmen and sophomores,” coach Mark Percy. There are a total of 16 players, and to make a JV squad, the Mustangs merely leave their seniors at home.

The baseball team may be rather understaffed, but according to their record, that isn’t phasing the players.

“I’d like to win Pioneer League,” senior pitcher Drew Faulhaber said. “We have the team to do that. Then I’d like to win regionals and go on to state,”

Ethan Scheibmeir is a sophomore and also pitches. “He is like my brother out there,” Faulhaber said. “He’s a really good player and has a future in it. I have a lot of confidence in him.”
It seems that everyone has high hopes.

“I think our biggest challenge is building chemistry,” Plumlee said. “This is a young team, and some of these guys haven’t ever played high school ball. By next year, everyone will probably be pretty acclimated to each other, even closer than we are now.”

Percy said he thinks hitting is one of the main skills the team needs to focus on. “We have the defense; we need to be able to get all nine players putting the ball in play without striking out,” he said.

Getting used to bigger leagues and each other could be a technical issue too. “So far we’ve been making simple mistakes that cost us bases, like on our throws to first,” junior Brett Taylor said.“They’re little errors that we can fix throughout the season.

“Ethan and Drew are some of the key players,” he continued “They’re the pitchers, so everything else comes into play through that.”