KCKCC completes unprecedented four-game sweep of Cowley

by Alan Hoskins

Kansas City Kansas Community College wiped out any doubts that the Blue Devils’ sweep at Cowley County last Thursday was a fluke by repeating the sweep on home turf Saturday.

“That’s the first time Cowley has ever lost all four games since the conference went to a four-game set,” said KCKCC coach Steve Burleson, whose Blue Devils posted 6-5 and 11-1 wins over a Cowley team that was unbeaten at 12-0 and tied for the league lead going into the series.

And now the Blue Devils have a chance to do it again against another No. 1 team.

Coffeyville, the Jayhawk Conference leader at 15-1, comes to KCKCC Thursday for a doubleheader at 1 and 3:30 p.m. before the Blue Devils go to Coffeyville Saturday to complete the four-game series.

Up ahead, however, is a Monday home twin bill with William Jewell’s JV at 2 p.m.

KCKCC won the Cowley opener 6-5 on Mitch Glessner’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh after Cowley had tied the game with five runs in the top of the inning. Garrett McKinzie led off the winning rally with a double and Christian Arnold’s bunt single moved pinchrunner Easton Edmond to third.

A ground ball advanced Arnold to second and Danny Kralicek was intentionally walked to load the bases and set up Glessner’s fly ball to center on a 1-2 pitch.

E.J. Merlo pitched shutout ball over the first six innings, leaving runners stranded in five of the six innings before the Tigers broke through in the seventh, scoring five times on five hits, a walk, hit batsman and error.

Jonathan May got the win in relief although giving up one run on two hits.

KCKCC jumped in front 4-0 in the third. After a leadoff double by Glessner, error and an intentional walk loaded the bases with one out, Sam Baxter’s bunt single scored one run, McKinzie singled in two more and Daniel LaMunyon singled in Baxter.

The Blue Devils tacked on another run in the fourth on a walk, sacrifice and Lucas Norton’s two-out single.

The Blue Devils wasted no time on jumping on Cowley’s Storm Rynard in the second game in a duel with Cole Frakes that matched Raymore-Peculiar graduates.

“They started a guy who throws 94 miles per hour and we started a guy who throws 74 and we got a complete game 11-1 win,” Burleson said.

After a double by Norton and a walk, the Blue Devils kayoed Rynard by scoring four times with two out in the first.

A wild pitch scored one run, Eric Hinostroza singled in two and Glessner one.

KCKCC added three more runs in the third on hits by Hinostroza and Norton and run-scoring bunts by Zane Mapes and Tanner Foerschler and then wrapped it up with four runs in the fifth on hits by Foerschler, Norton, McKinzie and LaMunyon and a double by Arnold.

“Luke Norton continues to lead the way and it’s good to see McKinzie and Arnold continue to swing the bat,” Burleson said. “One thing that should be noted. The bench really did a great job in keeping us fired up in a hostile environment down there and it carried over Saturday. Winning four was certainly encouraging but now the question is what do we do from here?”

KCKCC jolts Cowley from unbeatens with twin bill sweep

 Blue Devils never trail; two teams collide again at KCKCC Saturday at 1 p.m.

by Alan Hoskins

Kansas City Kansas Community College landed the biggest haymaker of the young Jayhawk Conference baseball season Thursday, knocking Cowley County out of the ranks of the unbeaten with a sweep of the perennial conference power in Arkansas City.

Preston Bailey pitched the Blue Devils to a 6-3 win in the opener and after surrendering a 7-4 lead in the nightcap, KCKCC scored runs in the ninth and 10th innings for a 9-8 win.

“Lucas Norton hit the first pitch of the game for a home run and we never trailed,” said KCKCC coach Steve Burleson. “It was far from perfect but definitely a great effort. It took the push of every one of the 35 guys on our roster.”

“Two big things,” added assistant coach Damian Stambersky, “every time Cowley would score, we’d come right back and score and we did not let our mistakes snowball. We also hit the ball (20 hits) against two of the better pitchers we’ve faced this year.”

The sweep sets up a big return home doubleheader Saturday starting at 1 p.m.

The defending Jayhawk champion and winner of 13 of 19 league championships, Cowley (12-2) fell two games behind Johnson County and Coffeyville, both 14-0, while KCKCC improved to 4-10 in the league and 10-15 overall.

Preston Bailey outdueled Seth Holman, who had not allowed an earned run in 21 innings, in the opener.

A freshman righthander from Savannah, Mo., Bailey gave up seven hits, struck out three and allowed just two earned runs. Leading 1-0 on Norton’s leadoff home run, the Blue Devils made it 3-0 in the third with Christian Arnold singling in the second of two earned runs.

Garrett McKinzie made it 5-1 in the fifth with a solo home run and added a run-scoring triple in the seventh.

Third baseman Daniel LaMunyon ended the game in spectacular fashion, making a diving backhand stop of a shot down the third base line and throwing to second to start a game-ending double play.

Sam Baxter paced a 13-hit attack in the nightcap, droving in four runs with a single, double and home run while McKinzie singled and doubled and Mitch Glessner singled twice.

The assault came against Parker Rigler, who had allowed only one earned run in 15 innings this spring.

Baxter’s home run and Glessner’s two-out run-scoring single gave KCKCC  a 7-3 lead in the seventh inning only to have Cowley score once in the bottom of the inning and three more in the eighth after reliever Hunter Phillips had loaded the bases on walks.

KCKCC regained the lead in the ninth on a leadoff double by McKinzie, who scored when Arnold’s sacrifice bunt was thrown away only to have the Tigers tie it on an error and a double, both with two out.

Fortunately, Cowley returned the favor in the 10th, giving up two walks with two out.

Garrett McKinzie then hit a chopper over the mound that was thrown away and Norton scored what proved to be the winning run when Phillips set down the Tigers in order in the bottom of the 10th.

Geoffrey Birkemeier worked the first seven innings, allowing only one earned run on six hits, two strikeouts and no walks.

KCKCC sweep sets up four-game home series Friday, Saturday

by Alan Hoskins

Kansas City Kansas Community College used some late inning dramatics to complete a doubleheader sweep of North Central College Wednesday.

A 4-1 winner in the opening game, the Lady Blue Devils trailed 6-1 before rallying to tie the game in the fifth inning and then winning in the bottom of the seventh 7-6.

The sweep came on the heels of 7-2 and 4-3 losses to Johnson County Tuesday, leaving the Blue Devils 10-4 overall and 6-4 in the Jayhawk Conference entering a four-game weekend home stand with Pratt Friday at 1 and 3 p.m. and Dodge City Saturday at noon and 2 p.m.

The Blue Devils rode the 3-hit pitching of Pitcher of the Week Leslie Ford to the 4-1 win over North Central. Ford struck out six and walked one and had a shutout until the seventh.

Justice Scales led a 9-hit attack with two doubles and a single while Amanda Holroyd drove in a pair of runs with two doubles.

KCKC jumped in front 1-0 in the first on a hit batsman, double by Scales and Maerra Morisette’s sacrifice fly and added two more in the third on singles by Lacey Santiago and Scales and Holroyd’s two-run double. The final run came on doubles b Emily Walsh and Scales in the fourth.

Tied 6-6 in bottom of the seventh in the nightcap, the Blue Devils won it by loading the bases on a walk to Morisette, a double by Ashley Henington and an infield single by Ford with one out.

Laura Vanderheiden then delivered the game-winner, a sacrifice fly to left with Morisette beating the throw to the plate.

Trailing 6-1, the Blue Devils tied the game with five runs in the fifth highlighted by a base-loaded double by Hanna Barnhart.

Singles by Vanderheiden and Scales sandwiched around a double by Santiago scored one run, Holroyd singled in another and Barnhart drove in three with her bases clearing double to right.

The rally made a winner out of Ford, who gave up a walk and then struck out two of the next three hitters in the top of the seventh in relief of Elizabeth Seimears and Myranda Ybarra.  Johnson County used its sweep to improve to 9-1 in the Jayhawk and 12-3 overall.

Justice Scales gave KCKCC a 2-0 lead in the first with a two-run home run but the Blue Devils managed only two singles the rest of the way.

JCCC cut the deficit to 2-1 on a home run in the fourth and then went ahead to stay on a grand slam home run in the fifth off Ford.

The Cavaliers built a 4-0 lead in the nightcap and then held on as the Blue Devils rallied for three runs in the fifth.

Scales followed a single by Vanderheiden and a walk with a two-run triple and scored on one of Holroyd’s three singles.

Morisette added two hits as the Blue Devils collected nine hits but left eight runners on base. Seimars gave up eight hits in absorbing the loss including fourth in a 3-run third.