by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Kansas City Kansas Community College closed out Jayhawk Conference baseball play Saturday, splitting a doubleheader with Coffeyville, winning 9-3 before losing 7-5.
Now the Blue Devils have to sit, watch and wait for the other eight teams in the conference to finish their league seasons next Saturday.
Firmly entrenched in third place with a 23-9 record, the Blue Devils trail Cowley (23-5) and Johnson County (21-7) in the race for first. Cowley finished the season against Neosho; JCCC against Coffeyville.
The third place finish assures the Blue Devils of playing host to a first round Region VI best-of-three playoff series that’s still two weeks away – Friday and Saturday, May 10-11.
With a 38-14 overall record, the Blue Devils are limited to two more games – one of which will be at home against Metropolitan-Maple Woods Tuesday at 2 p.m.
KCKCC scored all of its runs in the first three innings in Saturday’s 9-3 opener. Traice Hartter, Kevin Santiago, Eric Hinostroza and Jose Sosa each doubled and singled and Tyler Henry singled twice to lead a 13-hit attack.
The Blue Devils put together five hits in a 4-0 first inning. After doubles by Santiago and Hinostroza, Sosa and Henry each singled in runs and Hartter doubled in two more.
The Blue Devils rapped out another six hits in opening a 9-0 lead in the third. A single by Hinostroza and a double by Sosa ignited the 5-run uprising that included RBI singles by Henry, Hartter and Brady Holder and a 2-run single by Eduardo Acosta.
Osvaldo allowed just two hits over the first four innings before the Red Ravens scored a pair of two-out runs on a walk, two doubles and a single. Jose Amaro gave up a run on one hit and two walks in the sixth before Hunter Paxton got a pop-up and two strikeouts to end it.
The Blue Devils lashed out 14 hits in the nightcap but left 10 runners in scoring position. Sosa led the way with three singles and a double. Santiago added a double and two singles, Tyler Henry tripled and doubled and Hinostroza doubled and singles.
Coffeyville’s Austin Bonner led off the second game with a home run off Orlando Oritz and the Ravens added two more runs on hit batsman, two singles and passed ball. KCKCC tied it 3-3 in the third on singles by Acosta and Hinostroza and a double by Santiago and then went ahead 5-3 in the fifth on a single by Santiago and doubles by Hinostroza and Sosa.
Coffeyville tied it 5-5 in the sixth on Jalen Smith’s two-out double after two hits and an error and then went ahead to stay 6-5 with an unearned run in the seventh off reliever Max Storch. The Ravens added an insurance run in the eighth on a walk, error and two-out Bonner double.
The Blue Devils twice had runners thrown out at the plate, the second time in the ninth. After singles by Acosta and Sosa put the tying runs on base, Griffin Everitt doubled only to have two Blue Devils wind up at third base with Acosta caught in a rundown for the second out.
Ortiz worked the first six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits. He struck out three, walked one. Storch took the loss, giving up one run and one hit in one inning. Gaby Ramos pitched the final two innings, giving up a run on two hits. He struck out four, walked one.