Blue Devils have edge in hits, but drop 4 of 5 on Texas trip

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Statistics can be misleading – as Kansas City Kansas Community College proved on its spring trip to the Dallas area this past weekend.

The Blue Devils out-hit Eastfield Community College in three of four games, matched the Harvesters in the fourth game but lost all four contests, two in the final innings before finishing the road trip with a 7-6 10-inning win over Brookhaven.

The games were the first for the Blue Devils, who have been unable to get in outside workouts because of snow, ice and cold. Weather permitting, KCKCC is scheduled to play State Fair at Sedalia Thursday and then open at home against State Fair Saturday at noon.

“We played hard and were competitive,” KCKCC coach Matt Goldbeck said. “It was good to see we did not lay down in any game and we either came back or had the tying runs on base or at the plate in every game. Overall, we anticipated the pitchers being amped up and throwing a few more balls and hitters swinging at pitches out of the zone – the usual early season mistakes when the guys are excited about playing and try to do too much. Fielding ground balls on a gym floor is different than outside and I understand our infielders were a little time fielding ground balls but it’s not acceptable and we will keep encouraging them to play with confidence which will make them better.”

Sophomore Eric Hinostroza’s fourth hit of the game following a walk and hit batsman scored the winning run in the 10th inning in the 7-6 win over Brookhaven Sunday.

Freshman Tyler Henry forced extra innings with a game-tying home run in the top of the eighth. The hits made a winner out of Orlando Ortiz, who gave up just two hits and struck out three in 2 2/3 innings in relief.

Hinostroza’s four hits included a triple and two RBI while J.T. Goodfellow doubled and singled and Kemper Bednar and Traice Harter doubled in an 11-hit attack.

Matt Fred pitched the first 5.1 innings, allowing nine hits and six runs, only three of which were earned, and Jose Amaro worked two scoreless innings.

“Orlando Ortiz had an exceptional performance out of the bullpen and Fred and Amaro were solid,” Goldbeck said. “Obviously, Henry and Hinostroza had big hits and Bednar played very well at shortstop.”

Eastfield rallied twice in an opening 8-7 win on Friday. Trailing 4-3 in the sixth, Eastfield scored three runs (two unearned) for a 6-4 lead only to have the Blue Devils re-take the lead 7-6 with three runs in the top of the seventh.

Eastfield then won it with two runs on two hits and a walk off Hunter Paxton in the bottom of the seventh.

Matt Schrick and Jose Sosa each doubled and singled and Kevin Santiago and Goodfellow doubled in a 9-hit Blue Devil attack.

The Blue Devils were blanked 4-0 in Friday’s second game as Ryan Puyear allowed just four hits in seven innings.

Carlos Soto was the tough luck loser, allowing only three hits and four runs, three of which were unearned in four innings. Max Stortch pitched two innings of hitless relief. Harter doubled and singled, Henry doubled and Bednar singled for KCKCC.

KCKCC had a 6-4 lead in Saturday’s opener only to have Eastfield tie the game 6-6 with two runs in the bottom of the seventh and then win it with a run in the bottom of the eighth 7-6.

Goodfellow and Sosa both homered for KCKCC while Harter had four singles and two RBI as the Blue Devils outhit the Harvesters 13-8. Osvaldo Mendez gave up just two hits but walked four in allowing four runs in four innings while Zavier Morin gave up two runs and four hits in three innings. Storch took the loss, allowing two hits and two walks.

Eastfield won the second game Saturday 5-1, breaking a 1-1 tie with four runs in the fourth inning in a 6-inning contest.

Victor Gotay took the loss despite not giving up a hit as the Harvesters took advantage of two walks and five KCKCC errors to score three unearned runs. Henry homered and Harter singled and doubled as KCKCC had a 4-3 edge in hits.

“The area that was disappointing was not executing the little things that things we have emphasized through the fall and you can work on in the gym such as communications, bunt defense, first and third offense and defense,” Goldbeck said. “We just have to try to communicate it differently and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes.”

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