by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Kansas City Kansas Community College pitchers gave up just seven hits in two games Friday but it wasn’t enough to get the Blue Devils more than a split with Independence.
Outhitting the Pirates 22-7 in the two games, KCKCC needed just six innings for a 13-3 win in the opener but one big Independence inning – a four-run sixth inning – gave the Pirates a 5-4 win in the nightcap.
The sweep left KCKCC 3-5 in the Jayhawk Conference and 9-10 overall heading into a pair of home doubleheaders this coming week – Saint Mary on Tuesday and Labette on Thursday. First pitch will be at 1 p.m. both days.
KCKCC rode the two-hit pitching of freshman Carlos Soto to the 13-3 win in the opener. Soto struck out four, walked four and gave no unearned runs as the Pirates scored in the fifth on two walks and an error and one in the sixth on a double and an error.
The Blue Devils backed Soto with 15 hits including three apiece by Tyler Pittman and Kevin Santiago and two each by Josh Schumacher, Rorey Combs and Billy Kelley.
KCKCC scored in every inning but the fifth. Ignited by a leadoff triple by Schumacher, the Blue Devils took a 4-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by Pittman and Brandon Still, walk, error and Brigham Mooney’s sacrifice fly.
Santiago singled in a run in the second; Kelley’s hit scored another in the third and the Blue Devils put three runs on the board in the fourth on singles by Pittman and Santiago, an error, Brandon Green’s squeeze bunt and a Combs’ single. The Blue Devils then closed out the game with four runs in the sixth. After a hit batsman, single by Combs and a Kelley ground ball scored one run, Remington Kelly, Schumacher and Pittman rapped back-to-back two-out running scoring singles to end it.
In the second game, KCKCC led 2-1 on the strength of Orlando Ortiz’ two-hitting over the first five innings only to have Indy go ahead in the sixth 4-2 on a 3-run home run by Lance Harville-Thomas. The blast was set up by an error and a walk. The Pirates then added what proved to be the winning run on a pair of singles, the second by Jacob Moyer with two out.
KCKCC got back to 5-4 with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. A Brandon Green single, walk and passed ball scored one run and Billy Kelley’s ground ball plated the second. But the Blue Devils never got another man on base as the Pirates retired the last 12 hitters in a row, the last nine by Lance Christenberry including five on strikeouts.
Indy took a 1-0 lead in the first on three straight walks to start the game and a one-out bunt single but KCKCC tied it in the bottom of the first on a Tyler Pittman single, stolen base and two-base error and then went ahead 2-1 in the second on hits by Brigham Mooney, Rorey Combs and Jared Goodfellow.
Ortiz took the loss, allowing five hits, five runs, only three of which were earned. He walked five. Gunner Vestal worked a near perfect final three innings, allowing no hits, striking out five and walking one.