by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
A 6-run seventh inning was too much for Kansas City Kansas Community College to overcome in a season-opening 12-10 loss to Maple Woods Monday.
The Blue Devils now head south for a single game Friday and doubleheader Saturday against Richland in Dallas, Texas, and a Sunday twin bill against Eastfield in Fort Worth before returning home for back-to-back doubleheaders with Northeast Nebraska Feb. 24-25.
KCKCC took an 8-6 lead into the seventh inning only to have Maple Woods put its first six hitters on base and all scored. The Monarchs, who lashed out four hits in the inning, three singles and a double, were aided by two walks – one to start the uprising and one with the bases loaded – and two hit batsmen.
The Blue Devils got two runs back in the eighth on doubles by Brigham Mooney, Tyler Pittman and Remington Kelly and put the tying runs on base in the ninth with no one out on a single by Adam North and a walk but could not score.
Pittman led the Blue Devils with a double and two singles and three runs-batted-in. Kelly also drove in three runs; Rorey Combs plated a pair with a double and single; and Mooney and Kevin Santiago contributed doubles as KCKCC was outhit 12-10.
Trailing 3-0 in the third, KCKCC scored twice on Pittman’s bases-loaded double and then tied the game 4-4 in the fifth. A walk and singles by Josh Schumacher and Combs scored one run and Kelly’s ground ball tied it.
Maple Woods regained the lead with a pair of unearned runs in the sixth but the Blue Devils went back in front 8-6 with a four-run rally. After scoring one run on two errors and a hit batsman, Mooney and Pittman each bunted runs home and Combs doubled in the fourth.
Sophomore Cole Gacke drew the starting pitching assignment, giving up three runs on five hits. Freshman Orlando Ortiz allowed three runs, only one earned, striking out five but walking six before giving way in the top of the seventh to another frosh, Carlos Soto, who took the loss. Sophomore Allan Brown finished the game, retiring the final seven batters he faced, three on strikeouts.