KCKCC to face No. 5 Cowley in Jayhawk baseball opener Thursday

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Closing out early non-conference play with an 8-2 win over Baker JV Tuesday, Kansas City Kansas Community College jumps directly into the Jayhawk Conference fire with a home doubleheader against perennial power Cowley College Thursday.

Ranked No. 5 in the NJCAA Division I baseball poll, Cowley comes into the 1 p.m. twin bill the odds-on favorite to win its fifth Jayhawk title in the last nine years and 18th championship since 1988. Conference champion in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 and a World Series qualifier in 2016, the Tigers have been to the World Series seven times, a conference best.

The Blue Devils will bring an 8-4 record into the conference openers while Cowley is 9-4 after losing three of four to Seminole State.

“The conference championship always goes through Cowley,” KCKCC coach Matt Goldbeck said. “They’re a good club but if we’re going to win the conference, we have to beat the best.”

KCKCC surged to a 6-0 lead in the first two innings while four Blue Devil hurlers were combining on a four-hitter in the win over Baker. Max Storch, a freshman from Olathe South, got the win, allowing three hits and no earned runs in five innings. He struck out five and walked two. Jarrett Cronin and Julian Rivera each pitched one inning and Allan Brown two innings of scoreless relief.

Tyler Pittman led the Blue Devils’ 14-hit attack with four singles and five stolen bases. Six Blue Devils had extra base hits – a triple by Josh Schumacher and doubles from Drew Holtgrieve, Zach Mahoney, Albert Woodard, Easton Fortuna and Alex Phillips. Phillips and Brandon Still each had a pair of hits.

The Blue Devils took a 2-0 lead in the first on doubles by Woodard and Phillips, singles by Pittman and Chase Redick and a sacrifice fly by Holtgrieve and added four more runs in the second. Five Blue Devils had hits in the inning. Schumacher tripled, Mahoney and Holtgrieve doubled and Woodard and Pittman singled.

The final two runs came in the sixth on a walk, a bunt single by Pittman, Holtgrieve’s third RBI on a sacrifice fly and Phillips’ run-scoring single.

Vehicle theft reported at gas station on Leavenworth Road

A vehicle theft was reported on Sunday, Feb. 26, about 12:35 p.m. near the 5900 block of Leavenworth Road, according to police.

The victim, an adult woman, had gone into a gas station, police stated. Then a suspect approached the vehicle and told the children inside to get out of the vehicle, according to police.

The children, who were around middle-school age, then went inside and told their mom what had happened. No one was injured, police said. Authorities were still looking for the black Saturn SUV earlier this week.

Fire danger today, according to National Weather Service

National Weather Service graphic

Despite some areas receiving rain late Tuesday, dry conditions and dry fuels persist for others, according to the National Weather Service.

This, combined with lowered relative humidity values and breezy winds during the next couple of days, will continue to create heightened fire weather conditions, the weather service said. Residents are advised to avoid outdoor burning.

No other hazardous weather is expected for the next several days, the weather service added.

Today’s forecast will be sunny with a high near 51, the weather service said. A west northwest wind of 13 to 16 mph will gust as high as 24 mph.

Tonight, expect mostly clear skies with a low of 28, according to the weather service. A northwest wind of 5 to 10 mph will become light and variable.

Thursday, it will be sunny with a high of 54, according to the weather service. A southwest wind of 7 to 16 mph will become northwest in the afternoon, and winds may gust as high as 23 mph.

Thursday night, it will be mostly clear, with a low of 28, the weather service said. A northwest wind of 5 to 9 mph will become light and variable.

Friday, it will be mostly sunny with a high near 57, according to the weather service. A south wind of 6 to 15 mph will gust as high as 22 mph.

Friday night, the low will be around 41 with mostly clear skies, the weather service said.

Saturday, expect a high of 66, according to the weather service. It will be breezy.