The Seward County Saints exorcized a pair of demons Wednesday afternoon in Borger, Texas, picking up a road win and a non-conference win all in one as they survived a late Frank Phillips rally to hang on to beat the Plainsmen 9-8 in midweek action.
The Saints got on the board right away in the 1st inning, using a leadoff walk and a one out double from Brent Williams to give themselves a quick 1-0 lead.
Frank Phillips answered right back though in the bottom of the 1st, scoring twice on three hits to erase the Saints lead and take a 2-1 lead of their own.
The 2nd was scoreless and it remained 2-1 game into the 3rd.
Bryson Allen led off the Seward 3rd with a solo home run to knot the game at 2 and later in the inning the Saints loaded the bases, but were unable to cash in anymore runs as the game remained tied at 2.
After a rough outing on Saturday in a start, sophomore hurler Keenan Hall was sharp Wednesday in relief, retiring the Plainsmen in order in the 3rd, picking up a pair of strikeouts in the process, to keep the game tied at 2.
Allen continued to swing his hot bat in the 4th, blasting another solo home run, this one with two outs in the frame to put the Saints back in front 3-2.
The Saints opened things up in the 5th, using a Frank Phillips error to score their first run of the inning before getting RBI knocks from Hayden Killam and Hudson Bilodeau later in the inning to tack on three more runs to make it a 7-2 game.
Seward got another promising inning from struggling starter Pete Macke in the 6th as he needed just six pitches to retire the order to keep the Saints up 7-2.
Frank Phillips got a pair of hits and scratched out a run in the 7th to make it a 7-3 game and Seward went quietly in the top of the 8th, flying out three times on just seven pitches to keep the score that way into the bottom of the 8th.
Rowdy Sheets worked a 1-2-3 inning for the guys in green in the 8th to keep it a four run game and the Saints extended their lead to 9-3 as Hayden Killam doubles home a pair with two outs in the 9th.
Just when it looked like the Saints were smooth sailing to a win over the Plainsmen, Frank Phillips decided to wake up in the bottom of the 9th. Saints pitching loaded the bases for Frank on a pair of walks and a hit batter to start the inning and back to back singles gave the Plainsmen a pair of runs to make it a 9-5 contest. After recording their first out of the inning, a Frank Phillips single and a Seward error gave the homestanding Plainsmen two more runs to cut the Seward advantage to 9-7. Another Seward error made it a 9-8 game and Frank Phillips still had the bases loaded with two outs in the inning. That's when Head Coach Galen McSpadden called on closer Adam Guay to extinguish the fire and he did just that, getting a ground ball to end things to pick up his third one out save of the year as the Saints hung on to win 9-8.
Seward outhit Frank Phillips 13-11 on the afternoon. Four Saints had multi-hit games including Allen who finished 2 for 4 with 2 home runs and Killam who was 2 for 4 with 3 RBI's. Brent Williams hit his nation leading 29th and 30th doubles of the season in the victory, finishing 3 for 3 with a pair of runs scored. Six different pitchers threw scoreless frames for the Saints including Hall who picked up his third win of the season, punching out 2 in a clean frame. Guay needed just five pitches to earn his fourth save of the 2014 season to close things out.
The Saints improve to 27-23 overall on the year as they pick up just their 7th road win of the 2014 season. Frank Phillips falls to 28-18 on the year with the loss.
Next up for Seward will be their final Jayhawk West series of the year when they travel to El Dorado on Saturday and Sunday to take on Butler. The Saints will need at least three wins in the series to have a chance at a home series for the Region VI Tournament while a sweep of the Grizzlies would secure Seward of a home series. Anything less than a series win for the guys in green will mean that Seward will be on the road for the 1st round, with likely destinations being Coffeyville or Kansas City.
SEWARD COUNTY/FRANK PHILLIPS BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2013-14/files/SewardFrank423.pdf>