by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College’s young volleyball team overcame a two-set deficit and a pair of key injuries to rally to a 3-2 win over Neosho County in the Lady Blue Devils’ home opener Wednesday.

Already without sophomore setter Lexi Nick of Bishop Ward with a concussion, the Blue Devils lost veteran middle blocker Cecelia Augustine to a severe finger injury in a 25-23 loss in the opening set. Both will be sidelined indefinitely, leaving KCKCC with just two returning sophomores.

Trailing 2-0 after a 25-12 thumping in the second set, the Blue Devils rallied for 25-19, 25-20 and 15-11 wins for the 3-2 Jayhawk Conference vicotry.

“Grit and determination,” said KCKCC coach Mary Bruno of the come-from-behind win. “After a bad second set, they were determined they were not going to lose their home opener. For a young team to overcome that much adversity was a great way to start the season.”

Two freshmen led in kills, Alexis Harrell with 13 and Brooke Wilson with 12 while sophomore Allyssa Lutgen had seven kills and four blocks and soph defender Kimberly Martinez 36 digs.

Now 2-3, KCKCC will play at Hesston next Wednesday in a District N contest. The Lady Blue Devils next home match comes Sept. 16 against Allen County.

Alan Hoskins is the sports information director for KCKCC.

The Kansas City T-Bones, fighting for a postseason berth, beat one of the league’s best teams Thursday night, as they knocked off the St. Paul Saints, 5-4, beginning a four-game series at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.

In a game that saw five lead changes, the T-Bones sealed the win in the bottom of the eighth against St. Paul’s Dylan Chavez (1-1).

Starlin Rodriguez led off the inning with a double over the head of right fielder Angelo Songco. After Nate Tenbrink put down a perfect sacrifice bunt toward first that advanced Rodriguez to third, Jake Blackwood grounded the ball to center field and gave the T-Bones a 5-4 lead.

The perfect sacrifice was part of a perfect night for Tenbrink, who went two-for-two with two RBIs. Those came in the third inning, when his two-run double brought in Alex Marquez and Rodriguez, and gave the T-Bones a 2-1 lead. Tenbrink is now 12-for-15 with five doubles in his last four games. His average has gone from .301 to .320 since Sunday.

After Kansas City took the lead in the bottom of the eighth, T-Bones closer Fernando Hernandez faced one over the minimum in the ninth as he got his 20th save of the season. Evan DeLuca (1-0), who pitched in the eighth for the T-Bones, got the win.

The teams exchanged leads during three innings, before Kansas City got back-to-back home runs by Adam Bailey and Kyle Robinson in the bottom of the sixth, and went ahead 4-3. The Saints tied the game, though, in the top of the seventh after Ian Gac was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a double play grounded into by Joey Paciorek.

With the win, the T-Bones remain 2 1/2 games behind Laredo in the wild-card race with 10 games remaining in the regular season. (Joplin is 2 games back.) Laredo comes to Kansas City for four games beginning Monday.

The T-Bones (47-42) and Saints (65-25) are scheduled to continue their four-game series Friday night at 7:05. Tickets are available by calling the box office at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at 913-328-5618.

– Story from T-Bones


KCKCC sophomore Thiago Elias (21) beat two Blue River defenders to the ball in furious action in the Blue Devils 3-2 overtime win in the season opener Tuesday. (KCKCC photo)
KCKCC sophomore Thiago Elias (21) beat two Blue River defenders to the ball in furious action in the Blue Devils 3-2 overtime win in the season opener Tuesday. (KCKCC photo)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College got the 2015 men’s soccer season off to a spectacular start, scoring in the 16th minute of overtime for a 3-2 win over Blue River Tuesday.

The Lady Blue Devils, however, were not as successful, falling 2-0 on a pair of second half goals. The KCKCC women are right back in action at Lincoln College Saturday at 4 p.m. while the men are home Monday for a 7 p.m. clash with Cloud County.

A perfectly timed give-and-go goal won it for the Blue Devil men as freshman Thiago Elias returned a throw-in from sophomore Great Ubochi, who lofted the game-winning goal from the sideline into the corner of the net to set off a wild victory celebration in the Jayhawk Conference opener.

The Blue Devils took a 2-0 lead in the first half. Sophomore captain Jahren Barrow got the Blue Devils in front 1-0 in the 16th minute on a penalty kick after Steve Sosa had been taken down in the penalty box on a breakaway. Barrow also assisted on the second goal, delivering a well-aimed shot that freshman Leonardo Da Silva headed into the back of the net with 25 minutes gone in the contest.

“We were very solid for 30 minutes, attacking and defending very hard,” said coach Ruben Rodriguez.

Blue River cut the KCKCC lead in half on a free kick with nine minutes left in the half and then took advantage of a Blue Devil miscue to tie it early in the second half. Led by freshman goalkeeper Kenneth Herron, the Blue Devils turned back several Trailblazer threats in the final 35 minutes of regulation time before Elias and Ubochi teamed for the game-winner.

Blue River’s women took advantage of two second errors for the 2-0 win in the opener.

“It was a great start to the beginning of the season,” said first year coach Jeremy Winzer. “We came out on fire in the first half with lots of energy but just could not connect in the final third of the field. This team is young and learning how to play with each other and will get better. The young ladies came back Wednesday with a great attitude which I think shows the character and maturity of the team.”

Alan Hoskins is the sports information director at KCKCC.