by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Perennial power Cowley College flexed its muscle Saturday, pounding out 27 hits in a sweep that all but ended Kansas City Kansas Community College’s hopes of a Jayhawk Conference championship.
The wins, 12-2 in a 5-inning opener and 12-4 in the 9-inning nightcap, inched Cowley (21-3) closer to a fifth straight Jayhawk East championship and the eighth in 11 years.
Only No. 11 ranked Johnson County (19-5) has a legitimate chance to overtake the No. 10 ranked Tigers heading into their four-game series this week.
Despite the losses, KCKCC (20-8) stayed firmly in third place heading into the Blue Devils’ final conference games of the season, at Coffeyville Thursday and home against the Red Ravens Saturday at 1 p.m. The Blue Devils resume non-conference play Tuesday, playing host to Rockhurst junior varsity at 3 p.m.
Home runs by J.T. Goodfellow in the second inning and Eduardo Acosta in the fifth were the only runs the Blue Devils (34-13) could muster against Brandon Jordan in the 5-inning 12-2 opener. Jordan allowed only one other hit, a first inning single by Jose Sosa, and allowed only Acosta’s home run in retiring 12 of the final 13 hitters he faced.
Cowley (34-8) took a 3-0 lead against Osvaldo Mendez in the first inning and led 4-1 before breaking the game open with five runs in the fourth inning. Mendez gave up eight hits and eight runs, walking two and striking out four. The Tigers added one run off Jose Amaro and then closed out the win by scoring three runs on two hits off Matt Fred in the fifth inning.
The Tigers had 15 hits off four Blue Devil pitchers in the 12-4 second game while five Cowley pitchers combined to strike out 12. Eight of the nine KCKCC starters had hits with Brady Holder the only Blue Devil with two.
Cowley jumped on starter Victor Gotay and reliever Gaby Ramos for nine hits and nine runs in the first two innings. Cade Stephens had the big blow, a bases-loaded triple in a 7-run second inning. Zavier Morin worked 2 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and three runs before Hunter Paxton finished out, giving up two hits in 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
The Blue Devil runs came one at a time. The first came in the third on a walk, single by Acosta and Eric Hinostroza’s RBI ground ball. Holder singled in the fifth and scored on a Tyler Henry single, then singled in a run in the sixth after hits by Goodfellow and Griffin Everitt. Hinostroza doubled and scored on an error for the final run in the ninth.