WICHITA – Kansas City Kansas Community College's baseball season came to an end in a span of about 20 hours here Sunday, victim of a 17-hit Garden City attack in a 7-2 loss.
The defeat coming on the heels of a devastating late-inning 6-4 loss to No. 1 seeded Neosho County Saturday night and ended the Blue Devils' season at 41-20.
"We were really disappointed and had a letdown after a tight game the night before against a really good team," said KCKCC Coach Matt Goldbeck. "That's my job to make sure they're ready to play but we just didn't have the energy we needed to have."
The Blue Devils were also up against Garden City righthander Brendan Peitsmeyer who gave up a dozen hits but only two runs, neither of which were earned. Peitsmeyer struck out six, walked none and stranded 11 on base. "He was tough on us," said Goldbeck. "He gave up some hits but never that big hit."
Garden City led all the way, jumping in front on Brooks Benson's home run in the first and adding four more runs in the fourth on a single, sacrifice and four straight hits capped by a two-run double by Aeneas Roberson.
KCKCC cut the deficit to 5-2 in the fifth on a double by Conor Behrens, an error and run-scoring singles by Eli Lovell and Ryan Fisher. However, the Broncbusters got those two runs back in the sixth on a 2-run home run by Alex Nielsen.
The Blue Devils had runners in scoring position in each of the first six innings before Peitsmeyer retired the side in order in the seventh and eighth and then left two on in the ninth.
KCKCC and Neosho were tied 4-4 in the eighth Saturday night when Neosho took advantage of a walk and hit batsman to start the winning rally. Ryan Tolliver broke the tie with a run-scoring single off Blue Devil relief ace Avery Fliger and the Panthers added another run on a bunt single by Evan Bourn and a sacrifice fly.
The loss came after the Blue Devils had battled back from 3-1 and 4-2 deficits to pull even at 4-4 in the top of the sixth. After a leadoff single by Eli Lovell and a one-out walk, Albert Woodard doubled in one run and Zach Mahoney tied it with a single. However, Neosho starter Mason Knopp left the bases loaded with an inning-ending fly ball.
After Neosho had taken a 1-0 lead on an unearned run in the first, KCKCC got even in the second on Drew Holtgrieve's one-out triple and a Woodard ground ball. Another error set up a 2-run Neosho third as Brylie Ware doubled in one run and scored on a ground ball for a 3-1 lead and the Panthers made it 4-2 in the fourth on singles by Nate Crossman and Blake Tomasino.
Jake Purl worked the first seven innings, allowing five hits and just two earned runs. Lovell, Woodard and Mahoney each had a pair of hits and Conor Behrens a double for KCKCC. Drew Johnson got the win for Neosho, retiring all six hitters he faced.
Neosho then fell to Cowley 5-1 in a battle of undefeated teams Sunday while Johnson County was eliminating Hutchinson 10-6 in 10 innings and Garden City 5-2. JCCC and Neosho are scheduled to collide today with the winner to face Cowley.