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Late Rally Pushes Seward Past Cloud

KSCB News - April 10, 2016 11:12 am

It took the Seward County Saints a little while to get going in both of their games Saturday against the Cloud County Thunderbirds at Brent Gould Field, but when they did step on the gas, they were unstoppable, scoring six runs in the final inning of game one to win 10-0 and eight in the final two of game two to come from behind for an 11-9 win to sweep their Jayhawk West twinbill from the T-Birds.

In game one Saints ace Jakob Hernandez went three up three down in a conventional way in the top half of the 1st against the Thunderbirds and did so unconventionally in the 2nd to keep Cloud off the board through two.

Seward grabbed the days first run when Judah Sweat rocked a pitch to left center field, clearing the wall with ease for a solo shot to leadoff the 2nd and give the Saints a 1-0 lead.

Hernandez had to work his way out of trouble for the first time in the game in the 3rd after a one out triple and a walk, picking up back to back strikeouts to get out of the jam and keep the Saints in front 1-0.

In the Saints 3rd, Logan Nethercot hit a bullet the opposite way for a solo home run to start the frame and later in the inning Antonio Dorado lifted off on his third home run of the year, a two run shot to push the Seward lead to 4-0.

Hernandez worked out of another jam in the 4th, this time stranding the bases loaded with a pair of punch outs while the Saints did the same in the bottom half to keep it a 4-0 game.

It remained a 4-0 game into the 6th when the Saints exploded. Seward got their third home run to start an inning in the game as Jared Biddy smacked a solo shot to make it 5-0 to begin the frame. A double down the line from Justin Graff-Rowe brought home another run and Sweat continued his big day with a two run double to the gap to put the Saints ahead 8-0. Cloud went to the bullpen for the second time in the game after the two bagger and it provided no relief as on the second pitch he saw, Dorado crushed a two run home run over the scoreboard in left center field to bring the game to an abrupt halt in a 10-0 Seward run rule win.

Seward outhit Cloud 11-4 in the win, getting big efforts from Sweat and Dorado who each went 2 for 4, combining for three home runs and seven RBI’s. The Saints five home run game overshadowed another dominate performance on the mound from Hernandez who tossed his fourth complete game shutout of the season, allowing just four Cloud hits while striking out 10 on the afternoon.

SEWARD COUNTY/CLOUD COUNTY GAME ONE BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2015-16/boxscores/20160409_e584.xml>

After being shutout in game one, the T-Birds came out swinging in game two, needing just three batters to get on the board, whacking back to back one out doubles to plate a run and then a two out two bagger to score another to take an early 2-0 lead on Seward.

It remained a 2-0 game into the 3rd when the Saints loaded the bases in the bottom half of the inning before striking out looking to end the inning and the threat, keeping it a 2-0 Cloud lead after three.

Seward got on the board for the first time in the 4th on a leadoff double from Nethercot and a double behind him from Biddy to cut the Cloud lead in half at 2-1. The Saints weren’t done there as Easton Herring doubled down the line to score Biddy to tie it and later on Errett Edwards bounced one through the left side to score him to put Seward in front 3-2.

Sloppy Saints defense in the top of the 5th allowed the T-Birds to tie the game up at 3 and later in the frame Cloud got an opposite field three run home run to go back in front 6-3.

The Saints couldn’t get anything going in their half of the 5th and Cloud was back at it in the top of the 6th, putting together a two out rally to score twice and extend their lead to 8-3.

After stretch time, Dorado led off the Saints 7th by getting drilled in the head with a pitch, firing up the Seward dugout. After back to back singles to load the bases with nobody out, Biddy was hit by a pitch to bring Dorado home and make it an 8-4 game. A pair of wild pitches allowed Seward to score two more runs to cut the Cloud lead to 8-6 and two walks reloaded the bases, still with nobody out in the inning. A walk plated Seward’s fourth run of the inning and a double play ball sent one more to the dish to tie the score at 8.

Seward kept the momentum rolling on defense, pulling off a nifty 4-6-3 double play to finish the T-Birds in the 8th and the Saints sticks came alive once again in the bottom half of the inning. Dorado doubled and Chad Kennedy singled and after a Cloud error, the Saints had two runners in scoring position with nobody out in the inning. After an intentional walk to load the bases, an RBI single up the middle from Biddy plated two, putting the Saints ahead 10-8. Seward loaded up the bases once again and a double play scored their third run of the inning, pushing the Saints in front 11-8 with just three outs left to get.

Cloud scored a run in the top of the 9th, but never got the tying run closer than the on deck circle as Jonathan Castillo finished them off for an 11-9 Seward victory to complete the come from behind win.

Seward was actually outhit by the T-Birds in the contest, but five Cloud errors proved costly in the Saints win. Biddy finished 2 for 4 with four RBI’s to lead the Saints offense while Edwards was 2 for 5 with a pair of RBI’s out of the leadoff spot. Castillo earned the win in relief for Seward, going 2 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and just one unearned run to improve to 2-4 on the year. Adam Keller started for the Saints and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing 11 hits and eight runs while striking out a career high 15 in a no decision.

SEWARD COUNTY/CLOUD COUNTY GAME TWO BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2015-16/boxscores/20160409_gmnj.xml>

The Saints push past the .500 mark both overall and in Jayhawk West action with the wins, improving to 20-18 overall and 10-8 in league action where they sneak into the 5th spot by a game. Cloud County’s struggles continue as the T-Birds fall to 7-30 overall and are now just 3-19 in 22 Jayhawk West contests.

Seward and Cloud will go at it again Sunday at Brent Gould Field, getting first pitch of their doubleheader underway at 1:00.

 

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