Two 3-hit games not enough; Blue Devils eliminated in baseball

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.

Blue Devils take 29-18 record into playoffs Friday

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information

Five pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts Monday as Kansas City Kansas Community College closed out the 2021 regular season with a 10-1 win over Hesston.

The win improved the Blue Devils’ record to 29-18 heading into NJCAA Division I regional playoff action against Cloud County Friday at 3 p.m. on the Seward County campus in Liberal. Seward will play host to Hesston in the tourney opener at noon with the two losers clashing at 6 p.m.

KCKCC scored in six of the first seven innings against Hesston. Caleb Adams led a 12-hit Blue Devil attack with a double, two singles and three runs-batted-in. Four of the hits were for extra bases as Brock Stewart tripled and Raymond Paniagua and Caleb Brown each doubled. Cole Slibowski singled twice.

Alan Mercado (1-2) got the pitching win, striking out three and allowing no hits in two innings. Sebastian Velez pitched the first inning, allowing one run on two hits.

Eli Tormes and Parker Weddle each struck out four in two innings while Joseph Reyes gave up two hits and Hunter Cashero one in one inning of relief.

Adams tied the game 1-1 with a first inning single and the put the Blue Devils in front 3-1 with a two-run double following a double by Paniagua and hit batsman in the third. A single by Cole Dawson, triple by Stewart and double by Brown highlighted a 3-run seventh.

Blue Devils fourth despite losses to No. 12 Cowley

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information

The schedule makers did Kansas City Kansas Community College baseball no favors this spring, scheduling the Blue Devils for eight straight games against the Jayhawk Conference’s two ranked powers.

Despite being swept by No. 12 ranked Cowley 11-6 and 4-0 Tuesday, the Blue Devils handed both Cowley and No. 6 Johnson County their first conference losses. The sweep improved Cowley’s road record to 12-1 and 21-4 overall

At 5-7 in Jayhawk play and 10-10 overall, the Blue Devils still remain fourth behind JCCC (11-1), Cowley (12-2) and Allen County (4-2) heading into non-conference games at Cloud County Friday (2 and 4:30 p.m.) and at Maple Woods Tuesday (3 p.m.). A previously scheduled doubleheader with Labette Monday has been canceled.

Cowley took a 4-0 lead on four hits in Tuesday’s opener only to have the Blue Devils bounce back in the bottom of the first with a 3-run home run by Caleb Adams. However, Cowley relievers retired 15 of the next 17 Blue Devils in building a 9-3 lead. The Blue Devils scored their final three runs in the sixth on singles by Brendyn Bard, Palmer Hutchinson and Ivan Ortiz and a run-scoring triple by Beau Grable.

KCKCC managed only two hits – singles by Ray Paniagua and Ortiz – in the 4-0 nightcap loss. Racer Felter struck out six and walked three in the route-going 7-inning performance. Gabriel Ramos (0-2) took the loss, allowing all four runs on six hits in two innings. Eli Tormes scattered five hits in three scoreless innings; Hunter Cashero gave up no hits in two innings.