Kansas City Kansas Community College got its home baseball season started in dramatic fashion Saturday.
Trailing Longview 8-2 in the fifth inning and 8-6 in the seventh, the Blue Devils rallied for a 9-8 win and then completed a sweep with an 8-1 win in the 9-inning nightcap.
The Blue Devils (6-2) are right back in action Tuesday when they host Maple Woods in one 9-inning game starting at 2 p.m. and remain at home for a doubleheader with Midland Saturday at 1 p.m. and a single game with William Jewell Tuesday, March 1.
Back-to-back singles by pinchhitter Drew Holtgrieve and Easton Fortuna ignited KCKCC's winning 3-run rally in the bottom of the seventh of the opener. After Daulton Smith moved both runners up a base with a bunt, Albert Woodard singled in one run and Travis Stroup tied it with a sacrifice fly to right. Eli Lovell's fourth hit of the game moved Woodard up to second, from where he scored on Ryan Fisher's game-winning single to right. It was Fisher's third hit of the game.
After falling behind 8-2, the Blue Devils got back in contention with four runs in the fifth. Lovell followed an inning-opening walk with a triple and scored on Fisher's single. Malone Smith and Fortuna singled in the final two runs of the inning. KCKCC's first two runs came in the third on a hit batsman, a double by Daulton Smith and Lovell's 2-run single.
Jake Purl made his first start of the season in the second game, allowing five hits and one run in five innings before Camron Bednar and Tanner Vestal came on for near perfect relief. Bednar gave up one hit in two innings, Vestal struck out four in his two innings of hitless relief.
The Blue Devils put the game out of reach early, scoring seven times in the first three innings. Chase Redick led off the game with a double, took third on a Stroup bunt and scored when Lovell grounded into a force out. Lovell then stole second and scored on Fisher's single. KCKCC scored four more times in the second. A walk, bunt and error scored one run, Stroup's sacrifice fly scored another and Lovell belted a two-run home run to left center.
KCKCC lashed out 14 hits in the 7-inning opener but left 12 runners stranded; then added eight more hits in the nightcap including two each by Stroup and Lovell.
Picture Ident: KCKCC Outfielder Eli Lovell
Photo Credntials: Shawn Smith