by Alan Hoskins
With Lucas Norton and Tanner Foerschler leading the way, the Blue Devils of Kansas City Kansas Community College unleashed the biggest hit assault of the season Tuesday, pounding out 19 hits in a 12-7 win at Brown Mackie.
A sophomore centerfielder from Liberty, Norton was a perfect 4-for-4 with three doubles and a single and an RBI while Foerschler, a freshman first baseman from Harrisonville, was a double shy of hitting for the cycle with a single, triple and home run and four runs batted in.
The win sets up a big four-game series with perennial Jayhawk Conference power Cowley, which is locked in a three-way tie with Johnson County and Coffeyville for the league lead, all at 12-0.
The four-game set opens at Cowley Thursday and then returns to KCKCC for a Saturday twin bill starting at 1 p.m.
Daniel LaMunyon doubled and singled twice, Sam Baxter singled three times and Christian Arnold and Garrett McKinzie each drove in a pair of runs with two hits each as KCKCC improved to 8-15.
The Blue Devils took a 1-0 lead in the first on Norton’s leadoff double and an RBI single by Arnold and then scored five times on five hits in the second after Brown Mackie had tied the game.
Foerschler had the big blow, a 2-run triple following hits by LaMunyon and Baxter, and McKinzie drove in two more runs following Norton’s second double and a walk. KCKCC built a 8-2 lead behind the pitching of Spencer Nielsen only to have Brown Mackie close to 8-6 with four unearned runs in the sixth.
However, the Blue Devils bounced right back in the seventh. Zane Mapes’ squeeze bunt following a double by LaMunyon and single by Baxter scored one run and Foerschler’s home run scored two more.
Nielsen, who had pitched two innings of relief on Monday, got his first win, allowing just one earned run while scattering eight hits and striking out two in 5.1 innings.
Adam Rea worked the final 3.1 innings for his first save, giving up just one run and five hits.
“Lucas Norton had another great day at the plate,” said KCKCC coach Steve Burleson. “He’s up to hitting.488 now and Foreschler was big with the home run and four RBI. Coming off pitching in relief a day earlier, Spencer Nielsen gave us some good innings.”