Fort Scott apparently riled up Kansas City Kansas Community College's baseball Blue Devils by scoring seven runs in the first two innings of a Jayhawk Conference at Fort Scott Thursday because the Blue Devils pounded out 33 hits and outscored the Greyhounds 22-4 the rest of the day.
Bouncing back from a 7-0 deficit, the Blue Devils won the opener 12-8 in seven innings and followed up with a 9-inning 10-3 win in the nightcap. The two teams will complete their four-game series with a 1 p.m. twin bill at KCKCC.
The sweep kept KCKCC tied for second in the Jayhawk with Cowley at 18-8 and moved them two games ahead of Fort Scott and Neosho County (both 16-10) in the race for an opening round home playoff berth. Johnson County, KCKCC's final foe on this season's conference schedule, completed a four-game sweep of Allen County Thursday and leads the league at 22-6.
Tyler Pittman, a freshman centerfielder from Liberty, led KCKCC's offensive assault with eight hits in nine trips to the plate including 5-of-5 in the second game while Albert Woodard, Chase Redick, Rorey Combs and Drew Holtgrieve each had four hits in the doubleheader.
Fort Scott jumped on Blue Devil starter Jake Purl for three runs on three hits including a 2-run triple by Andrew Morrow in the first inning and added four more runs in the second on five hits and an error. But Purl (6-1) allowed only one hit and one run the next 4.1 innings before Julian Rivera came on to record the final five outs, four on strikeouts.
The Blue Devils started their comeback in the third, scoring four times on five hits. After singles by Woodard and Pittman, Redick doubled in both and Brandon Green and Easton Fortuna singled in runs. Aided by two hit batsman and an error, KCKCC tied it 7-7 in the fourth on just two hits, a single by Holtgrieve and double by Redick.
Fort Scott went back ahead 8-7 in the fourth but KCKCC tied it in the fifth on Pittman's bunt single following a hit batsman and a Woodard single and then went ahead to stay 10-8 in the sixth. After an error and a Fortuna sacrifice, Combs singled in the go-ahead run. Holtgrieve doubled and Josh Schumacher lifted a sacrifice fly for a 10-8 lead and KCKCC added two insurance runs in the seventh on hits by Pittman and Redick, two walks, a Zach Mahoney sacrifice and a hit batsman, Fort Scott's sixth of the game.
It was the Blue Devils who jumped in front 4-0 in the first two innings of the second game and sophomore righthander Chad Cox (3-2) took it from there, allowing just two earned runs and eight hits while striking out seven and walking one before Cole Gacke pitched a scoreless ninth.
Pittman's five hits included two doubles and a triple while Zach Mahoney hammered a 2-run home run; Combs singled twice and doubled; and Alex Phillips, Woodard, Holtgrieve and Schumacher had two hits each.
A Combs' double following singles by Pittman and Phillips made it 1-0 in the first and KCKCC used three extra base hits, a triple by Pittman and doubles by Woodard and Phillips to make it 4-0 in the second. A Pittman double kept KCKCC in front 4-1 in the fourth and Mahoney's second home run of the season capped a 3-run seventh and an 8-2 lead.