KCKCC wins regional; faces JCCC re-match in super-regional Friday

by Alan Hoskins

Kansas City Kansas Community College is headed for the NJCAA super-regional baseball tournament opening in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita Friday.
An 8-2 winner in the third and final game of a best-of-three regional series at Colby Sunday, the Blue Devils (36-20) will play the opener of the 8-team super-regional against 15th ranked and No. 1 seeded Johnson County (44-11) at 10 a.m. Friday. A double elimination tournament, games between first round winners and losers will be played starting Saturday.
“We wanted a chance at either Johnson or Neosho because we hadn’t got everything straightened out when we played earlier,” said KCKCC Coach Steve Burleson. Swept in four-game series by both Neosho and JCCC in mid-March, the Blue Devils rebounded to win 21 of their final 24 Jayhawk Conference games.
Geoff Birkemeier got the Blue Devils in front in the regional with a nifty 5-hitter in a 5-3 opening game win Friday only to have Colby take the second game 12-2 and force Sunday’s showdown finale.
Sophomore catcher Garrett McKinzie delivered the game’s biggest blow in the final game, a two-out, three-run home run that put KCKCC ahead to stay 4-1 in the fifth inning. “The home run was huge,” said Burleson. “It gave us the separation we were needing to allow us to survive a mistake in the field or on the mound.”
Scattering four hits including a second inning home run, E.J. Merlo took a 5-1 lead into the sixth only to load the bases on a walk, hit and hit batsman with one out. Derek Watkins came on and after getting one out, wild pitched a run home but slammed the door the rest of the way, allowing just one hit and walking two the final three innings. He was helped in the seventh when shortstop Zane Mapes’ throw to third baseman Daniel LaMunyon cut down a potential leadoff triple on a ball hit to leftfielder Alex Thrower. “That was a difference maker and very uncharacteristic of Colby’s team making the first out of an inning at third base,” said Burleson.
Mapes paced a 14-hit KCKCC attach with three singles while Luke Norton doubled and singled and Tanner Thibodeau, Christian Arnold and Tanner Foerschler singled twice.
Norton doubled and scored on a McGarrett’s ground ball for a1-0 lead in the first while hits by Mapes and Thibodeau set the stage for McGarrett’s 3-run homer in the fifth. A wild pitch after a hit batsman and a Norton single made it 5-1 in the sixth and the Blue Devils put the game out of reach in the ninth, scoring three times on hits by Foerschler, Mapes and Thibodeau and McGarrett’s sacrifice fly, his fifth RBI of the game.
Birchmeier allowed only one hit over the first six innings before Colby bunched its final four hits for a pair of runs in the seventh of KCKCC’s 5-3 opening win. The Blue Devils jumped in front 3-0 in the second, scoring twice on a double by LaMunyon, triple by Thibodeau and single by Thrower and then added a third run on a bunt single by Mapes and Norton’s squeeze bunt. Two-out run-scoring singles by Norton in the fourth and Mapes in the sixth scored the final two runs.
Pounding out 16 hits, Colby never trailed in the 12-2 win, scoring twice in both the first and third innings and six times in the eighth. LaMunyon doubled and singled, Arnold singled twice and Sam Baxter doubled for KCKCC.

Two Lansing state basketball champion stars sign with KCKCC

Zach Jackson, right, a 5-10 guard who averaged 14.1 points in leading unbeaten Lansing to a state championship, signs a letter of intent to attend Kansas City Kansas Community College where he’ll play for coach Kelley Newton. (KCKCC photo)
The second leading rebounding for Lansing’s Class 5A state championship team, Joe Lendway, left, was one of Kansas City Kansas Community College coach Kelly Newton’s first signees for the 2014-15 basketball season. (KCKCC photo)

by Alan Hoskins
Two standouts on this year’s Lansing undefeated state championship team have signed letters of intent to attend Kansas City Kansas Community College this fall.

Guard Zach Jackson and forward Joe Lendway who helped the Lions finish 25-0 and sweep to the Kansas Class 5A state championship are the first 2014-15 recruits announced by KCKCC head coach Kelley Newton.

“A great way to start – recruiting winners,” Newton said. “It’s always good to bring in players who are accustomed to winning. It’s important in building a program.”

Jackson and Lendway will be joining a former teammate, 6-4 forward Clay Young, who finished second in both scoring (10.0) and rebounding (5.6) for KCKCC this past season.

A 5-10 combo guard, Jackson was second in scoring with 14.1points per game along with 2.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds while the 6-5 Lendway was second in rebounding with 4.5 per game while averaging 9.4 points.

Lansing coach Rod Briggs says both Jackson and Lendway will make major contributions to the KCKCC program.

“Zach is really deceptive for 5-10 because he’s a strong and crafty player who can get inside and score while being a very good shooter from the perimeter,” Briggs said.

“Joe, I think, will just get better and better. He didn’t play much as a junior but worked very hard over the summer, taking Clay Young’s spot and really developing into becoming very important to our season. A hard worker and very coachable, he gave us a presence to our inside post game.”

Newton couldn’t agree more about the talents he’s bringing in.

“Zach brings a lot of toughness, grit and know how – a real smart player which is what attracted me to him,” Newton said. “What a lot of people didn’t know is that he led in scoring for about 80 percent of the season.

“Joe Lendway is very intriguing because he kind of flew under the radar and was one of the big reasons Lansing won the state championship. A big guy at nearly 6-6 and 220, he’s really a product of his hard work last summer. He brings a lot of intangibles that don’t show in the scorebook – the ability to score around the basket, defend and rebound.”


Piper results

Piper High School students hold a third-place trophy in the state forensics contest. It is Piper’s first state forensics trophy. (Photo from Piper Public Schools)

Piper High School – golf at Spring Hill (Sycamore Ridge)
– 2nd place as a team
– Eric Pahls 1st with a 71 and Blaine Smith 10th with an 81

Piper High School – track at St. Thomas Aquinas
– Piper School Records
– Chris Schneider (3200m)
– Regan Johnson (discus)
– Boys 4x400m (D. Saunders, I. Bah, L. Stacer, and S. Pahls)
-1st: T. Davis (100m) and R. Johnson (discus)
– 2nd: G4x100 and B4x400
– 3rd place: H White (100h), G. Kempf (discus), D. Saunders (200m), S. Pahls (400m), J.Ortiz (SP/discus)

Piper High School – state forensics
– 3rd place as a team (1st ever state trophy)
-Logan Stacer placed 1st in Original Oration.
-Jerry Manan placed 3rd in Serious Solo Acting and 7th in Prose.
-Mikala Sullivan placed 4th in Prose and 8th in Poetry.
-Jared Davis placed 5th in Poetry.
-Sarah Stella placed 10th in Poetry.
-Camrey Derritt placed 10th in Serious Solo Acting.
-Chloe Bridge placed 11th in Impromptu Speaking.
-Chris Schneider placed 12th in Prose.
– 1 ratings (outstanding)
-James and Laura Clark- Duet Acting
-Drew Waters and Keegan Sparks- Duet Acting
-Kenzie Reynolds- Prose
-Audrey Wenzl- Prose
-Gabi Kempf- Prose
-Mary Winzer- Poetry
-Patricia Telthorst- Poetry
-Alex Moran- Poetry
-Kori Smith- Poetry
-Jalen Zwart- Poetry
-Aly Barnett- Informative Speaking
-Maggie Wolf- Humorous Solo Acting
– 2 ratings (excellent)
-Cailin O’Mara and Patricia Telthorst- Improvised Duet Acting
-Matt Romero and Ian Smith- Improvised Duet Acting
-Jordan Fuqua and Gregory Gordon- Improvised Duet Acting
-Jalen Zwart and Mary Winzer- Improvised Duet Acting
-Jared Winzer- Poetry and Informative Speaking
-Corey Mann- Oration and Extemporaneous Speaking
-Jordan Fuqua- Prose
-Chad Irwin- Prose
-Sheridan Smith- Prose
-Kristen Warner- Prose and Humorous Solo Acting
-Cailin O’Mara- Oration

Piper High School – Special Olympics
– Piper grad Aaron Batliner (5 gold medals)

–    from Doug Key, Piper activities director