by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Kansas City Kansas Community College scored 16 runs in the first game of a Jayhawk Conference win at Labette Thursday but 13 runs weren’t enough in the nightcap.
The Blue Devils took the 7-inning opener 16-5 only to have Labette come-from-behind for a 14-13 win in the 9-inning second game. The two teams will complete their four-game series Saturday when the Cardinals come to KCKCC for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.
Thursday’s split dropped the Blue Devils out of a tie for the all-important race for fourth place. Fort Scott (10-2) is alone at the top of the Jayhawk followed by Allen County (11-3), Johnson County and Cowley (both 9-5) and KCKCC (8-6).
Jacob Purl improved his record to 5-0 in the opener, allowing five runs and eight hits in 6.2 innings. He struck out five, walked three.
Three of the runs came on home runs by Dalen Marriam, a 2-run shot in the first and a solo homer in the fourth. Cameron Bednar came on for the final out after a 2-run double by Ivan Tio in the seventh.
A grand slam home run by Alex Phillips and a solo shot by Chase Redick highlighted a 9-run sixth inning that put the game out of reach.
KCKCC had just four hits in the inning but benefited from four walks and a hit batsman. Phillips started the inning with a single and Easton Fortuna had a 2-run single before Phillips unloaded the bases with his fifth home run and Redick followed with his fifth round-tripper.
Trailing 2-0, the Blue Devils went ahead with four runs in the third. Albert Woodard ignited the uprising with a triple and after a hit batsman, Phillips singled in a run and Drew Holtgrieve singled in two more.
A single by Josh Schumacher and a double by Tyler Pittman made it 5-2 in the fourth and a double by Brandon Still – his second hit of the game – highlighted a 2-run fifth.
KCKCC scored twice in the top of the ninth inning of the second game to take a 13-11 lead only to have the Cardinals score three times in the bottom of the inning. Two errors sandwiched around a double by Phillips scored one run and a bases-loaded walk scored the second for KCKCC.
Labette’s game-winning rally came with one out. The Cardinals loaded the bases on a single, double and hit batsman to kayo reliever Luke Ostenson and after a bases-loaded walk off Julian Rivera, Sam Swartz singled to score the tying and winning runs.
Labette scored eight runs in the first three innings against starter Chad Cox and Colton Kenagy gave up three more in fifth for a 11-10 Labette lead before Cole Gacke came on to record four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out six.
Chase Redick’s sixth home run of the season started KCKCC’s comeback in the third. Trailing 3-0, KCKCC pulled even on a double by Albert Woodard, walk, Phillips’ RBI ground ball and Redick’s 2-run homer and then went ahead 5-3 on a double by Holtgrieve and single by Fortuna. Brandon Still put the Blue Devils ahead 9-8 with a 3-run home run following two walks and a Fortuna single in the fourth.
Fortuna finished with three hits and two RBI; Woodard doubled twice; and Zach Mahoney drove in two runs with a sacrifice fly and bases-loaded hit batsman.