Kansas City Kansas Community College's young baseball team continued to add drama to the new season Monday, rallying in each of the final two innings for a 6-5 win over Maple Woods.
It was the third time in eight games the Blue Devils have scored the winning run in their last time at bat and boosted their season record 7-2 heading into a home doubleheader with Midland Saturday at 1 p.m.
Unable to hold a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth, the Blue Devils won it in the bottom of the inning on Travis Stroup's line drive single on an 0-2 pitch with two out. Malone Smith opened the game-winning rally with a single and Easton Fortuna's sacrifice bunt advanced pinchrunner Caleb Gray to second. Gray moved up to third on a ground ball and after a walk to Albert Woodard, Stroup delivered the game-winner.
Held to three singles over the first four innings, the Blue Devils trailed 3-0 in the fifth when Maple Woods opened the door for KCKCC's first run. Chase Redick singled with two out and scored all the way from first on Woodard's fly ball that was dropped in right. KCKCC got even in the sixth on a triple by Eli Lovell, a single by Ryan Fisher, a double by Zach Mahoney and Conor Behrens' run-scoring ground ball.
Maple Woods retook the lead in the eighth but KCKCC quickly retied it on a triple by Stroup and an error and then went ahead 5-4 on Mahoney's sacrifice fly. However, Maple Woods rebounded to tie it in the ninth inning on an inning-opening walk, single and outfield error.
"You take wins anyway you can get them but it was good to stay positive," said KCKCC Coach Matt Goldbeck. "I thought we showed good character to stay in the game and not give up."
Photo coutsey of Shawn Smith