by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Just when things looked the gloomiest, Kansas City Kansas Community College launched a two-out comeback for a 7-4 win Monday over Metropolitan Community College – Maple Woods.
The win was the 10th in a row for the Blue Devils (12-5), who return to Jayhawk Conference play this weekend.
Originally scheduled for a home doubleheader with Highland Thursday, that twin bill will likely will be moved back to Friday if heavy rains come as forecast. The two teams would also play Highland Sunday at a site to be determined. Highland’s field is currently unplayable.
Five of KCKCC’s seven runs Monday were scored with two out and no one on base, a fact not lost on coach Matt Goldbeck.
“That’s pretty special; the ability to get two-out hits really sustains the offense,” Goldbeck said.
The Blue Devils trailed Metropolitan 4-3 with two out and none on in the bottom of the eighth only to score four times on four hits.
After singles by Griffin Elliott and pinch-hitter Kevin Santiago and a walk loaded the bases, Traice Harter put the Blue Devils ahead 5-4 with a two-run double and Eric Hinostroza added two more runs with a two-run single.
“A very big hit by Harter,” Goldbeck said.
The rally made a pitching winner out of freshman Gaby Ramos, who gave up a leadoff home run to Cole Nichols to start the eighth inning but then retired the Wolves in order the final two innings. Ramos’ finish capped another outstanding performance by KCKCC freshmen relief pitchers, who combined to allow just one hit and one run in five innings, walking three and striking out four.
Jake Martin pitched two hitless innings, striking out two and walking two, and Phillip Bryant walked one, struck out one in a hitless seventh inning. Matt Fred worked the first four innings, allowing three runs on six hits. He struck out six and walked two.
“Our relief guys really did a good job, especially considering the circumstances,” Goldbeck said. “Both Martin and Bryant were making their first appearances after being injured and it was the first game of the season for Ramos.”
Held without a hit through three innings, the Blue Devils finally broke through with two runs with one out in the fourth.
Brady Hoover drove in both with a double after a double by Tyler Henry and a single by Kemper Bednar put runners on second and third. KCKCC tied it 3-3 with an unearned run in the seventh.
With two out, Harter singled, took second on an error and scored on Jose Sosa’s single. Harter finished the day with three hits.