Stephens’ one-hit shutout lets Blue Devils split at Independence

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Lefthander Shae Stevens hurled a one-hit 8-0 gem to extend Kansas City Kansas Community College’s winning streak to five in a row at Independence Saturday but the Blue Devils could not overcome three Pirate home runs in a 6-5 nightcap loss..

The split kept the Blue Devils (15-10) tied for fourth with Johnson County in the Jayhawk Conference at 7-5. Allen County and Fort Scott share the conference lead at 10-2 with Cowley third at 8-4.

The Blue Devils are home to Longview Tuesday for a single 9-inning game at 2 p.m. before playing host to Labette in a Jayhawk twin bill Thursday at 1 p.m.

A sophomore from Mill Valley, Stephens retired the first 13 hitters he faced before Indy’s most serious threat. Two walks and a single by Jacob Moyer loaded the bases before an inning-ending strikeout. Stephens struck six, walked four,

The Blue Devils backed him with 11 hits including three by Tyler Pittman and two each by Alex Phillips, Brandon Green and Josh Schumacher.

KCKCC jumped in front 1-0 in the first on a triple by Pittman and a single by Phillips and added two more in the second on a walk, error, a run-scoring single by Schumacher and Albert Woodard’s squeeze bunt.

KCKCC put the game away with three runs in the fourth. The first four hitters in the lineup, Woodard, Pittman, Phillips and Green all singled for two runs and Easton Fortuna singled in the third.

The Blue Devils couldn’t make a 5-3 lead hold up in the second game.

Trailing 3-2 going into the eighth inning, Chase Redick tied the game with his fourth home run of the season and the Blue Devils took a two-run lead on singles sandwiched around by an error by Fortuna and Drew Holtgrieve.

But the Pirates came right back in the bottom of the inning, scoring one run on a single and a pair of walks and then won it on Jacob Mueller’s two-run home run.

Tyler Benge accounted for Indy’s first three runs with a solo home run in the second and a two-run home run in the fifth that erased a 2-1 KCKCC lead. The Blue Devils had gone ahead 3-2 in the fourth on a double by Holtgrieve, walk, wild pitch and a single by Phillips.

The Blue Devils collected nine hits including two doubles by Woodard and a pair of hits each by Redick, Fortuna and Holtgrieve.

Corey Cowan allowed just three hits and one run over the first five innings before Julian Rivera and Luke Ostenson surrendered the two-run home runs.

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