by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information
Kansas City Kansas Community College’s baseball season came to a sudden end Friday.
Limited to three hits in each game, the Blue Devils fell 10-3 to Cowley College and 10-2 to Colby and were eliminated from the NJCAA Region VI Division I playoffs in Salina. The losses left the Blue Devils 32-20 for the season.
The Blue Devils led Cowley 3-2 through 5½ innings of their opener only to have the four-time Jayhawk champion Tigers score four runs in the sixth and three in the eighth in improving to 44-8.
KCKCC grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second on singles by Ray Paniagua and Brendyn Bard, fell behind 2-1 and then regained a 3-2 lead in the fifth on a pair of walks, wild pitch and a Palmer Hutchison sacrifice fly.
However, only two of the final 17 Blue Devil hitters reached base. Cole Slibowski led off the game with a double for KCKCC’s only other hit.
Cowley took advantage of three walks and a single to start the 4-run sixth and a 6-3 lead and then closed out the win with home runs by Michelle Artzberger, Gus Freeman and Elijah Jackson in the eighth.
Southpaw Logan Barnard allowed six hits and two runs in the first 4.1 innings but Parker Weddle walked three of the five hitters he faced and Chase Terrell finished, allowing six hits, six runs (four earned) and three home runs.
The Blue Devils also led Colby 2-0 in the elimination game, Cole Dawson belting a 2-run homer following Bard’s leadoff single in the second.
However, they managed only one other hit, a bunt single by Paniagua in the third against Alex Cook, who struck out 13 and retired 13 of the final 15 hitters he faced.
Colby (30-24) went ahead 5-2 in the third inning on a leadoff homer by Grant Higgins and a 3-run round tripper by Jake Ticer off Eli Tormes and added four more runs off Gabriel Ramos and Alan Mercado in the fourth.
Hunter Cashero worked the final four innings, allowing two hits and one run, Ticker’s second home run of the game.