COME-FROM-BEHIND WINS LET BLUE DEVILS (20-6) SWEEP COFFEYVILLE
A word to the wise: Don't give up. Don't ever give up on this year's Kansas City Kansas Community College baseball team.
A week ago Saturday, the Blue Devils trailed No. 4 ranked Cowley 7-0 and won 14-10. On Tuesday, they trailed Longview 10-2 in an 18-15 win. Down 4-0 against Coffeyville Thursday, the Blue Devils came from behind for a 10-4 win and then on Saturday, KCKCC completed a four-game sweep of the Red Ravens by rallying from an 8-1 deficit for a 10-8 win.
The sweep boosted KCKCC (8-4) to third place in the Jayhawk Conference behind Neosho (10-2) and Cowley (9-3) and 20-6 overall heading into a single 9-inning home game with Des Moines Area Community College Tuesday at 2 p.m. The Blue Devils then return to Jayhawk action, playing at Independence Thursday and then hosting the Pirates Saturday at 1 p.m.
"It's special to come back from the deficits we've faced," said KCKCC Coach Matt Goldbeck. "It was especially good to see the bullpen pitch so well and the offense never giving up and never being out of it."
The Blue Devils scored in each of the first six innings in a 12-3 opening win at Coffeyville on Saturday. Chase Redick doubled and singled twice and Eli Lovell had a pair of singles in a 12-hit attack. Jake Purl worked for the first 4.1 innings, allowing six hits and three runs while fanning four. Avery Fliger gave up one hit in 1.2 innings of relief before Chad Cox finished with one hitless inning.
KCKCC bunched singles by Redick, Lovell, Ryan Fisher and Zach Mahoney for three runs in the first and added another run in the second on hits by Drew Holtgrieve, Conor Behrens and Travis Stroup. Redick's double led to another run in the fourth and then his single triggered a 5-run sixth inning as the Blue Devils took advantage of three walks, two hit batsman and Albert Woodard's two-run single.
Coffeyville bolted to an 8-1 lead in the nightcap before KCKCC rallied with a 17-hit barrage led by Redick, Behrens and Holtgrieve, each with three hits, and Stroup, Fisher and Woodard two apiece. The Blue Devils started their comeback with three runs in the third on a walk and hits by Lovell, Fisher, Holtgrieve and Woodard and then trimmed their deficit to 8-7 with three more in the fourth on singles by Redick and Behrens, a two-run double by Stroup and Fisher's single.
The winning runs came in the fifth. After one out, KCKCC tied the game on a walk, singles by Daulton Smith and Redick and a ground ball by Behrens and then went ahead on Stroup's two-out single. KCKCC wasted a Behren's triple in the seventh but Holtgrieve tripled in the ninth and scored on Woodard's double for the 10-8 lead. Fliger, who allowed one run and two hits in 2.3 innings, got the win while Tanner Vestal worked four scoreless innings and Cox got the save despite giving up two hits in the ninth.
Cameron Bednar worked four innings of scoreless relief and Fliger pitched a perfect seventh as KCKCC overcame a 4-0 deficit for a 10-4 opening game win over Coffeyville Thursday. Lovell had three singles and Fisher two while Stroup and Holtgrieve each tripled. The Blue Devils tied the game with four runs in the second on singles by Lovell, Mahoney and Fisher and then went ahead to stay on a triple by Stroup and singles by Lovell and Behrens. Singles by Malone Smith, Fisher and Redick highlighted a 3-run fifth and a double by Lovell and pinch triple by Holtgrieve closed out the scoring in the sixth.
Brandon Reid pitched eight scoreless innings, scattering three hits and striking out six as KCKCC completed Thursday's home sweep with a 9-2 win over the Ravens. Stroup paced a 15-hit attack with three singles and a double, Behrens tripled and singled twice, Easton Fortuna doubled and singled and Holtgrieve had a pair of singles.
KCKCC took advantage of two Coffeyville errors and a Stroup double to take a 3-0 lead in the first, added two more in the second on singles by Fortuna, Behrens and Stroup and two more in the third on hits by Holtgrieve, Woodard and Redick. Fortuna doubled in a run in the fourth and Behrens' triple and Stroup's single closed out the KCKCC scoring in the fifth.