If a 4-2 start in the opening six baseball games is any indication, Kansas City Kanas Community College will score runs this spring.
The Blue Devils scored 57 runs and had a team batting average of .344 in four games against Richland Community College and two against Eastfield in their four-day trip to Dallas.
"Six games in four days will really test a pitching staff," says KCKCC Coach Matt Goldbeck. "We used every pitcher we have, all 13. Offensively, we swung the bat well and put pressure on the defense. And defensively we played well."
KCKCC opens its home season Saturday, hosting Longview in a 1 p.m. doubleheader.
Ten Blue Devils hit .300 or better on the road trip. Catcher Malone Smith led with a .455 average in three games; shortstop Albert Woodard hit .412 in four games; centerfielder Eli Lovell .400 in six games; second baseman Easton Fortuna .400 in five games and first baseman Conor Behrens .375 in six games. Ryan Fisher, Chase Redick and Caleb Gray were each at .333 while Dale Holtgrieve hit .313, Dauton Smith .294 and Zach Mahoney .292.
Lovell led in runs-batted-in with nine while Behrens drove in eight, Mahoney six and Woodard, Redick, Holtgrieve and Smith five each. Game by game results:
KCKCC 14, RICHLAND 12 (12 innings) – Countless heroes in the Blue Devil opener, not the least of whom was Avery Fliger, who allowed just one single in four innings of relief to get the win. Trailing 12-9, KCKCC tied it in the ninth on consecutive singles by Fortuna, Smith and Woodard and Fisher's sacrifice fly and then won it in the 12th on a double by Smith, a throwing error on Behrens' bunt, Fortuna's single and a ground ball. Fortuna finished with five hits including a triple, double and three RBI; Behrens drove in three runs with three doubles and a single; Woodard singled three times and Daulton Smith and Malone Smith had two hits each.
KCKCC 7, EASTFIELD 5 – A two-run triple by Mahoney in the top of the seventh sealed the win. The Blue Devils took a 3-0 lead in the fourth on a double by Lovell, singles by Fisher and Mahoney and Behrens' two-run double and added two more in the fifth on a pair of errors and Woodard's double. Dustin Eby pitched the first 4.1 innings; Chad Cox retired the final two batters to get the save after Richland had scored twice in the bottom of the seventh.
EASTFIELD 10, KCKCC 7 – Blue Devils Led 7-6 only to have Eastfield score four times in the bottom of the sixth on three walks, double and single. KCKCC took a 2-0 lead in the first on a double by Fisher and double by Mahoney and added four more in the second, three on Woodard's home run. Holtgrieve also homered in the third and doubled but the Blue Devils managed only two hits in the final 4.2 innings.
KCKCC 8, RICHLAND 5 – The Blue Devils banged out a dozen hits led by R Fisher , who had two doubles and a single, and Malone Smith, who drove in three runs with two singles. Behrens doubled twice, Lovell singled and doubled and Mahoney singled twice. Leading 5-4 in the sixth, the Blue Devils scored three times on doubles by Fisher and Behens, a single by Mahoney and a bases-loaded walk to Smith. Eri Sanchez worked four innings and Andrew Montoya three in the win.
RICHLAND 6, KCKCC 2 –Lovell homered in the first and added a double and single but the Blue Devils managed only four other hits including two by Chase Redick. Cameron Bednar worked the first five innings, giving up four hits, two of which were home runs.
KCKCC 19, RICHLAND 7 – Five Blue Devils belted home runs, Mahoney, Behrens, Lovell, Holtgrieve and Daulton Smith. Trailing 2-0 after one inning, KCKCC erupted for 10 runs and eight hits in the second highlighted by two-run homers by Mahoney and Behrens and two-run doubles by Lovell and Redick. Lovell drove in five runs with a homer and two doubles; Redick drove in four with two doubles and a single; and Daulton Smith and Holtgrieve each drove in three runs. Behrens and Fortuna also had three hits each and Levi Froud and Holtgrieve two.