No. 5 KCKCC takes 34-19 record to No. 4 seeded Colby Saturday

by Alan Hoskins

Freshman Geoff Birkemeier will draw the opening pitching assignment when Kansas City Kansas Community College opens the Region VI playoffs at Colby Saturday at 1 p.m.

Beaten 11-8 by Maple Woods in their final regular season game Wednesday, the Blue Devils will take a 34-19 record into the regional as the No. 5 seed. The No. 4 seed out of the West, Colby is 28-22. A best of three series, two games will be played Saturday with a third if necessary on Sunday with the winner advancing to the super-regional starting May 9 at Wichita. The Colby games will be streamed on OpenSpacesSports.

“Colby always has a good club and is well coached,” said KCKCC coach Steve Burleson. “They like to run so managing their running game will be a key.”

Burleson sent four hurlers to the mound and rested several starters against Maple Woods. Spencer Nielsen worked the first four innings, giving up seven runs of which only three were earned, while Cole Frakes and Derek Watkins were both touched for three hits and two runs in their two innings of work. Zane Mapes doubled and singled twice and drove in two runs, Tyler Raymond and Mitch Glessner each singled twice and Trevor Norbury delivered a pinch RBI double  in a 12-hit KCKCC attack.

The workhorse of the Blue Devil staff, Birkemeier completed nine of his 12 starts this season while compiling a 6-4 record with a 2.89 earned run average. Burleson is undecided on his Game 2 starter. Possibilities are southpaw Hunter Phillips, 8-5 with a 3.95 ERA, and E.J. Merlo, 4-3 with 4.36 ERA.

Boasting a team batting average of .300, seven of the eight Blue Devil starters are hitting .300 or better led by centerfielder Luke Norton, who is hitting .378 and leads in stolen bases with 27. The others are leftfielder Mitch Glessner (.344), third baseman Daniel LaMunyon (.341), shortstop Zane Mapes and catcher Garett McKinzie, both .319, rightfielder Christian Arnold (.308) and second baseman Tyler Raymond (.301). Only first baseman Tanner Foerschler is below .300 but he has 18 RBI.

Arnold, McKinzie and LaMunyon have supplied the power. Arnold leads in home runs (10) and RBI (50) while Garrett has six homers and 39 RBI and LaMunyon five homers and 36 RBI.

Downtown KCK area to hold two parades Saturday – Cinco de Mayo and Polski Day

by William Crum

Once a year Kansas City, Kan., celebrates its cultural heritage with a couple of parades downtown on the first Saturday in May.

On May 3 there are two parades scheduled in Kansas City, Kan. One of them is Polski  Days, which celebrates Polish, Croatian and other eastern European heritage, and the other is Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates Hispanic heritage. There is something for everyone at both parades.

The Polski Days parade goes from 12th to 8th Street along Central Avenue at 11:30 a.m. and ends at All Saints parish, 811 Vermont Ave., in Kansas City, Kan.  This is where the festivities truly begin. They have live music, dancing, food, and games for the kids. The festival is something the whole family can enjoy.

The Cinco de Mayo parade starts at 6th and Minnesota and ends at 12th and Minnesota.  It starts at 10 a.m. Saturday. This is its seventh year of the parade. After the parade, a festival is held near 12th and Minnesota. They have live music, games for the kids, good ethnic food, plus dancing as well.

“This is the way we celebrate our melting pot heritage,” said Bridget Jobe, executive director of the Kansas City, Kan., Convention and Tourism Bureau. “We are truly proud of our heritage particularly in Wyandotte County and this is one way we honor it. Particularly in the downtown area, this is where it all began.”

To learn more about what is going on, visit the CVB website at

Animal control officers capture boxer dog in northeast area

Animal control officers on May 1 captured a second aggressive dog that is suspected of dog bites in the northeast area of Kansas City, Kan.

Police officers in the area of 15th and Troup spotted a male brindle boxer shortly after midnight May 1 and were able to capture it, a police spokesman said. Animal control officers responded to the area and captured the canine without incident, the spokesman said.

Three dogs, part of a pack of dogs, were responsible for three dog bites on April 26 and April 27, police said. The first dog was captured earlier this week.

The Kansas City, Kan., Animal Control Unit is still looking for a female (fawn-light brown or tan) boxer.