by Alan Hoskins
Unbeaten Jayhawk Conference leader Johnson County lived up to its No. 16 national baseball ranking Saturday by completing a four-game sweep of Kansas City Kansas Community College.
While the Cavaliers improved to 12-0 in league play and 21-2 overall, KCKCC fell to 2-10 in the conference and 5-15 overall heading into a Monday home doubleheader with Dakota County Technical College at 1 p.m.
The Blue Devils then return to the road, playing at Brown Mackie Tuesday and Cowley County Thursday before returning home Saturday against Cowley County, which is also 12-0 in Jayhawk play. All three twin bills are at 2 p.m.
Rallying for four runs in the seventh for a 7-5 win in Saturday’s opener, JCCC completed the sweep with a 5-2 win in the nightcap after posting 9-3 and 13-8 home wins on Thursday.
KCKCC jumped in front of Saturday’s opener with four runs in the second inning. Singles sandwiched around a walk by Sam Baxter scored one run, Eric Hinostroza’s sacrifice fly scored a second and Garrett McKinzie doubled in two for a 4-0 lead.
However, JCCC took advantage of three walks to score twice in the third with two out and then made the most out of three walks, two singles and a double in the seventh to score four runs in the 7-5 win.
The Cavaliers took advantage of three KCKCC errors in winning the 9-inning nightcap 5-2. Only one of four runs given up in seven innings by Hunter Phillips (1-4) was earned.
Sam Baxter tripled and drove in both Blue Devil runs while Mitch Glessner doubled and singled and Lucas Norton singled twice.
JCCC opened the four-game series Thursday by scoring three times in the first inning and then adding five in the fourth after KCKCC had closed to 3-2 on Christian Arnold’s 2-run home run.
McKinzie doubled in KCKCC’s final run in the seventh while Norton singled twice.
The Blue Devils banged out 17 hits but still dropped a 13-8 decision in Thursday’s nightcap at JCCC.
Norton and Baxter each had four hits and Arnold, McKinzie and Hunter Walsh two each for KCKCC, which led 3-1 and 4-2 early only to have the Cavaliers score three times in the fourth and six times in the fifth.