In 1992, the Seward baseball team went 10-14 in the Jayhawk West. For the next 21 seasons, a Seward baseball team finished about .500 in the Jayhawk West Conference. That string of over .500 conference play ends in 2014 after the Butler Grizzlies swept the Saints 6-5 and 17-7 Sunday at McDonald Stadium in El Dorado. Seward finishes 16-16 and in fifth in the Jayhawk West.
Game one was an entertaining back and forth affair. Butler took a 4-0 lead with four in the third. The Saints jumped back into it with two in the fourth after back to back doubles by Bryson Allen and Brent Williams and a Kevin Connolly single. Seward took the lead in the fifth. Allen whacked a two RBI double to tie it and scored on a Brent Williams single to give the Saints the lead. Butler added one in the fifth and one in the sixth to take the lead and win 6-5. Keenan Hall pitched four and two-thirds and allowed five runs. Brent Bezio went one and one-third and allowed one run. Allen was 2-4 at the plate with two doubles.
Game two was an abysmal pitching outing for the Saints who walked 13 hitters while the Saint defense collapsed with six errors. Seward scored two in the first when Connor Smith singled home two. But the Grizzlies scored three in the first and one in the second to lead 4-2. The Saints tied it in the third when Connolly tripled home a run and scored on an error. But Butler scored five runs on six hits in the third. The Saints scored once in the fourth to make it 9-5 Butler when Reed Thompson doubled home a run. Seward got to within three by scoring a run in the sixth when Brandon Urquizo led off with a double and Brent Williams singled him home. Butler blew it open in the sixth with five runs during an inning in which the Saints walked five Grizzlies. Connolly tripled to lead off the seventh to give the Saints their seventh run on a Smith groundout. The Grizzlies scored three in the seventh to lead 17-7 and force the run rule. The Saints used six pitchers in the loss. Connolly was 2-3 with two triples.
Seward is 29-26 overall and 16-16 in the Jayhawk West and Butler is 34-21 and 20-12 in the Jayhawk West. Seward finishes 4-12 on the road on the Jayhawk West and did not win a conference series away from Liberal.
The Saints will play a best two out of three first round series on the road at Neosho or Kansas City Saturday on 1270 and kscbnews.net. KCK plays at Allen Monday. If the Blue Devils win both, they will take fourth. If they split or are swept, Neosho owns the tie breaker and takes fourth and would host Seward in Chanute.