by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Kansas City Kansas Community College stayed in contention for a position in the first division of the Jayhawk Conference with a split at Labette Saturday.
Edged 3-2 in the 7-inning opener, the Blue Devils rebounded with a 12-hit attack in a 10-4 win in the 9-inning second game. The split kept KCKCC tied with Johnson County for fifth place in the conference at 6-6 and 13-11 overall.
Cowley (11-1) leads the league followed by Fort Scott (10-2), Allen County (8-4) and Neosho (7-5) – all teams the Blue Devils have yet to play.
The Blue Devils are back home Tuesday, playing host to Longview in a single game at 2 p.m. The game was originally scheduled to be played in Lee’s Summit. The Blue Devils then go to Highland Thursday before returning home Saturday to play the Scotties at 1 p.m.
Outstanding relief pitching by sophomores Allan Brown and Julian Rivera cemented the Blue Devils’ 10-4 second game win.
A southpaw from Olathe Northwest, Brown allowed just one hit and no earned runs in four innings, He struck out three, walked one.
Rivera closed out the win with a flawless ninth inning. Victor Gotay worked the first four innings, allowing four hits and three runs (just two earned). He walked five, fanned one.
Trailing 1-0 early, KCKCC went ahead 3-1 in the third on run-scoring singles by Jared Goodfellow and Josh Schumacher and Rorey Combs’ ground ball.
Labette tied the game with a pair of runs against Gotay in the third but the Blue Devils went ahead to stay 6-3 in the fourth.
James Bradley Jr., Schumacher and Brandon Still had singles for the Blue Devils, who were aided by a hit batsman, passed ball and an error.
The Blue Devils tacked on another run in the seventh on singles by Combs, Brandon Green and Bradley and then hauled out the heavy artillery in a 3-run ninth.
After a leadoff triple by Still, Combs doubled for one run and scored on Gavin Gifford’s home run. Bradley had three hits and Schumacher, Still and Combs two each.