by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Kansas City Kansas Community College will enter a 2½-week baseball hiatus in second place in the Jayhawk Conference.
Edged 3-2 at Labette Thursday, the Blue Devils bounced back with a 16-2 win and a 4-2 conference record, one game back of Johnson County (5-1) and tied for second with Coffeyville.
With March games suspended by the KJCCC because of the coronavirus, KCKCC is tentatively scheduled to return to action April 3-4 when the Blue Devils are slated for a 3-game series at Cloud County. If the season is resumed, KCKCC will have 13 playing dates before the start of regional playoffs.
Limited to five hits in the 3-2 loss, the Blue Devils rebounded in the second game with vengeance, lashing out 19 hits and scoring in six of seven innings.
Leadaoff hitter Seth Kenagy led the way with three singles and a double; Trey Hoover drove in five runs with a single and 3-run home run; and Raymond Paniagua belted a solo home run and two singles. Six Blue Devils had two hits, Griffin Everitt, Eduardo Acosta, Jose Sosa, Tyler Henry, Palmer Hutchinson and Hoover.
The Blue Devils took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a walk and singles by Acosta, Sosa and Hoover, added a third run in the second on hits by Hutchinson, Kenagy and Everitt and made it 4-1 on a Paniagua single and Kenagy’s double.
KCKCC blew the game open with five runs in the fifth and six in the seventh. Paniagua homered, Sosa tripled, Everitt doubled and Kenagy, Acosta, Henry and Hutchinson singled in the fifth; Everitt doubled in two runs and Hoover capped the 6-run seventh with a 3-run home run.
Backed by three double plays, Gaby Ramos went the distance for the pitching win, allowing two runs on 11 hits. Striking out two and walking none, he stranded eight Cardinals.
Held to three innings the first four innings, Labette won the 3-2 nightcap with a 3-run fifth inning rally capped by a 2-run home run by Mason Pierce, the Cardinals’ ninth place hitter.
The Blue Devils took a 1-0 lead in the fourth without a hit, scoring on two hit batsmen, an error and Kenagy’s sacrifice fly and then closed to 3-2 in the sixth on Hutchinson’s solo home run. The Blue Devils had only four other hits off Labette’s Kenlee Hall, singles by Kenagy, Everitt, Acosta and Sosa. Sophomore southpaw Osvaldo Mendez (4-1) suffered his first loss, allowing six hits, striking out seven and walking one.