by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Kansas City Kansas Community College scored in bunches Thursday in a sweep of Allen County that extended the Blue Devils’ winning streak to 18 games in a row.
Of the 22 runs scored in the 10-7, 12-2 sweep, 19 scored in just four innings. The two teams were right back in action today in a twin bill in Iola, games originally scheduled for Saturday but moved up because of threatening weather.
The wins kept the Blue Devils (20-5) firmly entrenched atop the Jayhawk Conference with a 10-0 record. Johnson County (6-0) is the only other unbeaten team in the conference while perennial power Cowley College is 5-1.
Coach Matt Goldbeck was particularly pleased with the Blue Devils’ hitting approach.
“Offensively, we’ve preached the importance of putting the ball in play,” Goldbeck said. “We struck only twice in the first game and four times in the second – a really good job of working the concept and making it work.”
Orlando Ortiz (6-0) stayed unbeaten in the 10-7 opener, allowing seven hits, walking two and striking out four. Ortiz had a shutout until the fifth when the Red Devils scored five runs on four hits and three Blue Devil errors. However, KCKCC had a 10-0 lead by that time. Gaby Ramos pitched the seventh, striking out one.
“Ortiz set the tone with four dominant innings,” Goldbeck said. “We lost our focus in the fifth but were able to fight them off with Ramos closing out the game.”
Four Blue Devils had two hits. Kemper Bednar doubled and tripled, J.T. Goodfellow and Jose Sosa each singled and doubled and Kevin Santiago had a pair of singles.
KCKCC jumped in front 6-0 in the first on four hits aided by four Allen County errors. Traice Harter and Eric Hinostroza started the big inning with singles and Goodfellow doubled in one run and Sosa another.
A Santiago single and Goodfellow triple added a run in the second and the Blue Devils stretched the lead to 10-3 with a 3-run fourth. After an Eduardo Acosta single and a walk, Santiago singled in a run, Goodfellow drove in his third with a sacrifice fly and Sosa doubled in the final run.
The Blue Devils broke open a tight pitcher’s duel with six runs in the sixth inning in the second game. Allen took a 2-0 lead in the first on a walk and three two-out hits before Carlos Soto closed the door on the Red Devils, giving up just two singles the next five innings. He walked six and struck out four before Max Stroth pitched a hitless seventh.
“Soto had a tough first inning but then really settled in,” Goldbeck said.
Six of the Blue Devils 12 hits were for extra bases led by Santiago, who tripled with the bases loaded and singled twice. Sosa and Harter both doubled and singled; Griffin Everitt tripled and Acosta and Bednar doubled.
Trailing 2-0, KCKCC went ahead 4-2 in the second on four straight two-out hits. Everitt started the rally with a triple and with two outs, Acosta doubled and Harter, Hinostroza and Santiago rapped consecutive singles.
Santiago’s bases-clearing triple was the big blow as the Blue Devils broke the game open with a 6-run sixth inning. Harter singled in the first run and Sosa doubled in Santiago.
The Blue Devils closed out the win in the seventh, scoring twice without a hit – one on a wild pitch, the other on a passed ball.