No. 16 JCCC completes baseball sweep of Blue Devils

by Alan Hoskins

Unbeaten Jayhawk Conference leader Johnson County lived up to its No. 16 national baseball ranking Saturday by completing a four-game sweep of Kansas City Kansas Community College.

While the Cavaliers improved to 12-0 in league play and 21-2 overall, KCKCC fell to 2-10 in the conference and 5-15 overall heading into a Monday home doubleheader with Dakota County Technical College at 1 p.m.

The Blue Devils then return to the road, playing at Brown Mackie Tuesday and Cowley County Thursday before returning home Saturday against Cowley County, which is also 12-0 in Jayhawk play. All three twin bills are at 2 p.m.

Rallying for four runs in the seventh for a 7-5 win in Saturday’s opener, JCCC completed the sweep with a 5-2 win in the nightcap after posting 9-3 and 13-8 home wins on Thursday.

KCKCC jumped in front of Saturday’s opener with four runs in the second inning. Singles sandwiched around a walk by Sam Baxter scored one run, Eric Hinostroza’s sacrifice fly scored a second and Garrett McKinzie doubled in two for a 4-0 lead.

However, JCCC took advantage of three walks to score twice in the third with two out and then made the most out of three walks, two singles and a double in the seventh to score four runs in the 7-5 win.

The Cavaliers took advantage of three KCKCC errors in winning the 9-inning nightcap 5-2. Only one of four runs given up in seven innings by Hunter Phillips (1-4) was earned.

Sam Baxter tripled and drove in both Blue Devil runs while Mitch Glessner doubled and singled and Lucas Norton singled twice.

JCCC opened the four-game series Thursday by scoring three times in the first inning and then adding five in the fourth after KCKCC had closed to 3-2 on Christian Arnold’s 2-run home run.

McKinzie doubled in KCKCC’s final run in the seventh while Norton singled twice.

The Blue Devils banged out 17 hits but still dropped a 13-8 decision in Thursday’s nightcap at JCCC.

Norton and Baxter each had four hits and Arnold, McKinzie and Hunter Walsh two each for KCKCC, which led 3-1 and 4-2 early only to have the Cavaliers score three times in the fourth and six times in the fifth.

KCKCC softball wins 3 of 4

 by Alan Hoskins

Winner of three of four Region VI games on the road over the weekend, the Lady Blue Devils of Kansas City Kansas Community College return for the biggest home stand of the season – eight games in five days.

It all starts Tuesday when the Blue Devils host arch-rival Johnson County in a pivotal Jayhawk Conference doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.

Tied for fourth in the region at 6-2 and 8-2 overall, KCKCC is just a game back of third place JCCC, 7-1 in regional play and 10-3 overall. North Central follows Wednesday for non-league games at 2-4 p.m. followed by regional foes Pratt on Friday (3-5 p.m.) and Dodge City Saturday (12-2 p.m.).

Outstanding pitching by Leslie Ford and Elizabeth Seimear carried KCKCC to a 2-0, 6-1 sweep at Hesston on Friday before the Blue Devils had to settle for a split at Hutchinson on Saturday, losing 2-0 before winning 7-3.

Ford allowed just three singles, striking out eight and walking one in blanking Hesston 2-0.

The Blue Devils provided all the needed support in the first inning, scoring on a leadoff double by Lacey Santiago, walk, wild pitch and Hanna Barnhart’s RBI double.

Barnhart, Santiago and Megan Dike each had a pair of hits in a 9-hit attack.

Seimear gave up just five hits and one earned run in the 6-1 second game win.

The Blue Devils again exploded in the first, scoring three times. After a leadoff single by Santiago and a walk, Mierra Morisette doubled in both and then scored on Ford’s ground ball.

The Blue Devils added three insurance runs in the seventh on Santiago’s third single, a triple by Morisette, single by Holroyd and double by Barnhart, each of which scored a run.

KCKCC outhit Hutchinson 7-6 but left seven runners on base in the 2-0 loss.

Hutch scored on a leadoff single and sacrifice fly in the third and a double and single in the sixth. Barnhart was the lone Blue Devil with more than one hit.

Ford came on in relief after Hutch had scored twice in the second inning and finished the 7-3 nightcap win by allowing just three hits and one run in the final 5.2 innings.

Justice Scales and Barnhart each had three hits, Morisette a double and triple, Santiago two doubles and Dike two singles in a 14-hit assault.

The Blue Devils again had a big first, scoring three times on four straight hits, doubles by Santiago and Justice Scales, a two-run triple by Morisette and Holroyd’s RBI single.

“Both Leslie Ford and Elizabeth Seimear pitched very well at Hesston,” said KCKCC coach Kacy Tillery. “Hutch’s runs in Saturday’s first game came on a couple of bloop hits. Defensively we played well and Barnhart, Morisette and Santiago swung big bats.”

Sporting KC draws 1-1 with FC Dallas

Aurelien Collin (File photo)

Sporting Kansas City settled for a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas in the team’s MLS home opener on Saturday at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

Aurelien Collin scored in the 81st minute on a corner kick from Benny Feilhaber, however Matt Hedges headed home a free kick from Michel in the 90th minute to split the points.

Attendance was 19,431 and temperatures were at 70 degrees when the game started.

Playing the team’s third match during a stretch of five games in 15 days, Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes made five changes from the lineups that started the team’s season opener in Seattle and mid-week match in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Jimmy Medranda made his first MLS start and second career appearance, while rookie midfielder Alex Martinez replaced the Colombian in the second half for his MLS debut.

Sporting Kansas City created the game’s first chance in the fourth minute. Collin’s service over the top of the FC Dallas backline drew Chris Seitz off his line, but the goalkeeper was beaten to the ball by Sal Zizzo on the right flank. The fifth-year forward sent his chip over Seitz from a tight angle and found C.J. Sapong at the backpost but his shot was blocked away by Hedges.

Eight minutes later, Sal Zizzo did well to turn Jair Benitez inside the penalty area and direct his shot on frame from 15 yards out. Chris Seitz dove to his left to push away the attempt for his first of five saves on the night.

FC Dallas would not record its first shot of the game until the 33rd minute when Blas Perez couldn’t connect fully on a lunging shot at the edge of the six-yard box. The Panamanian would try twice more in the first half — registering the visitors only three shots of the half — including a header in the 39th minute and a left-footed drive from 20 yards out that sailed just wide on the final play of the half.

Sporting Kansas City controlled 70 percent of the possession in the final 45 minutes while searching for the breakthrough goal. Feilhaber tested Seitz with a half-volley but the FC Dallas backup, starting in place of the injured Raul Fernandez, was well-positioned to smother the shot.

FC Dallas inserted young designated players Andres Escobar and David Texeria in the second half and it was Escobar’s corner kick in the 79th minute that fell to fellow Colombian Fabian Castillo outside the penalty box. The 21-year-old did well to strike a first-time side volley but it carried narrowly over the crossbar.

With under 10 minutes remaining in regulation, Sporting Kansas City finally found the game’s opening goal from one of the club’s 12 corner kicks on Saturday. Seth Sinovic stuttered his way past Je-Vaughn Watson and forced a sprawling save by Seitz at the near post to earn the set piece.

Collin then found space between Andrew Jacobson and Hedges to direct his header inside the far post for his 14th career goal in MLS competition, tying him with Jose Burciaga Jr. for second most by a defender in team history behind Jimmy Conrad.

The lead would be short-lived as FC Dallas responded nine minutes later through a free kick, awarded by referee Abbey Okulaja when Texeira went to ground as Oriol Rosell closed in for a challenge.

Michel, who had entered less than three minutes earlier, curled the set piece toward the back post where it was met by Hedges with a powerful header from six yards out.

The goal came on FC Dallas’ only shot on goal of the game and marked the second straight year FC Dallas came from behind to equalize in the 90th minute against Sporting KC. Sporting Kansas City would have three chances to grab a late game-winning goal in stoppage time, none better than from the foot of Martinez after a quickly taken free kick by Sinovic.

The 2014 MLS SuperDraft pick snuck into the left side of the penalty area and placed his shot past Seitz only to see it cleared in the goalmouth by Hedges.

The draw saw Sporting Kansas City move to 11-2-6 all-time in MLS home openers with just one loss to open the team’s regular season home schedule in the last 15 years.

Up next for Sporting Kansas City is the decisive second leg in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals at Cruz Azul on Wednesday.

Sporting KC holds a 1-0 lead on aggregate heading to Estadio Azul in a match that will be nationally televised on FOX Sports 2 (English) and Galavision (Spanish).