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Strong Pitching vaults Blue Devils to within game of First

Strong Pitching vaults Blue Devils to within game of First

Kansas City Kansas Community College rode strong pitching performances by Dustin Eby and Brandon Reid to within one game of first place in the Jayhawk Conference Thursday.

            Eby allowed just one earned run in a 9-2 win over Labette in the opening game of a doubleheader, Reid pitched seven and two-thirds inning of shutout ball in a 3-0 nightcap win.

            The sweep vaulted the Blue Devils (12-5) into a third place tie with Cowley in the Jayhawk Conference, just a game back of Allen County and Neosho County, both of whom are 13-5. Labette and KCKCC will complete their four-game series at Parsons Saturday at 1 p.m.

            "Our pitchers threw well in both games, especially against an offensive team like Labette," said KCKCC Coach Matt Goldbeck.

Eby (3-1) scattered eight hits and allowed more than one base runner in just two innings in the 9-2 opener. Labette's only runs came in the third on a double, single and Eby's throwing error.

Eli Lovell's 11th home run of the season, a 3-run shot to dead center, put the Blue Devils ahead to stay in the first. In addition, Lovell added a single and a run-scoring triple in the sixth. Ryan Fisher also had three hits including a run-scoring double while Chase Redick and Easton Fortuna each drove in runs, Redick with a double and single and Fortuna with a pair of singles.

Reid (3-1) allowed just five hits and struck out five in the 9-inning 3-0 nightcap. Labette's only scoring  threat came in the fifth when the Cardinals put runners on first and third with one out only to have third baseman Travis Stroup throw out what would have been the first run of the game at the plate. After a walk and catcher's interference in the eighth, Avery Fliger, who is 5-0 this season, came on to retire the final four hitters for his first save.

KCKCC bunched five singles in the fifth for the game's first two runs. Ryan Fisher led off with a single and scored on Malone Smith's single and Albert Woodard, Fortuna and Redick followed with consecutive singles for the 2-0 lead. Stroup then added an insurance run in the eighth with his second home run of the season. Daulton Smith and Woodard each had two KCKCC hits.