For the first time in the 2011 season the Seward County Saints Baseball team hit the road on Saturday as they traveled to Odessa to play a four game set with the Wranglers over the weekend. Odessa would put it on the Saints 12-5 in game one of the series on Saturday but Seward bounced back to take game two 7-2. On Sunday things would play out the same as the Wranglers took the third game of the series 5-1 before the Saints took the finale 7-4 to split the series.
Things would start off well in the opener for Seward as Jon Mestas singled with one out in the 1st and Jake Barrios was hit by a pitch to set the table for the middle of the lineup. An error would behind that would score one run and a sacrifice fly from JT Bean would plate another to make it 2-0 Saints. Seward would get two more runners on but would leave the bases loaded as the inning came to a close but would still take the 2-0 advantage into the 2nd inning after a 1-2-3 inning by starter Logan Hall in the Odessa half of the 1st. Both teams would go down in order in the 2nd and swiftly to the 3rd the teams went with the Saints still ahead 2-0. Seward would tack onto their lead in the top half of the 3rd inning as Kyle Henke walked with one out and would be driven in by Bean with a double off of the center field wall to make it 3-0. The Saints weren't done yet though as Jordan Dallalio would single and Tyler Hill would walk to load the bases with just one out. Unfortunately Seward would see back to back strikeouts to end the inning and would leave the sacks jacked for the second time in three innings as the inning came to a close. The lack of execution would cost them as after Hall had retired the first six Wrangler hitters he saw in order the 3rd inning would be a different story. A leadoff walk would start the trouble and a pair of singles and a fielder's choice behind that would load the bases with just one out. A sacrifice fly would bring Odessa's first run of the game in but Seward was still in good shape, up 3-1 with two outs in the inning. Two pitches later that would no longer be the case as a triple into the right field corner would clear the bases and an error behind the triple would score another run and give the Wranglers the lead 4-3. The Saints half of the 4th wouldn't last long enough to get rid of the sting and Odessa was back at it in the bottom of the frame as they batted around for the second straight inning, this time thanks to six singles and the big blow coming with a three run home run to put themselves ahead 9-3. The Saints would never recover as they picked up a pair of runs in the 6th to make it 9-5 on RBI's from Steve Polito and Barrios but allowed Odessa to score 3 in the bottom of the inning to retake a 12-5 advantage. That score would hold up as the Saints would drop the opener 12-5. Seward was out hit 18-8 in the game with their top performer with the stick in the game being Bean who finished 2 for 3 with a pair of RBI's.
GAME ONE BOX SCORE <http://www.scccsaints.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4219:21911--odessa-game-1&catid=56:baseball&Itemid=163>
In game two the Saints would send Paul Pulley to the mound to matchup against Odessa's Tyler Tredaway. The two right- handers would be locked in a pitching duel early on as each would allow just two hits through a scoreless first three innings of the game. The Saints would score first in the top half of the 4th inning as Barrios tripled to lead off the inning and was quickly driven home by Hill on an RBI single to right. Hill would find his way home on an RBI double from Dillon Bryant to score Seward's second run and he would score on a mishandled play by the Wranglers shortstop to make it 3-0. Pulley would pitch himself out of jams in both the 4th and 5th innings to keep Odessa off the board and to the 6th the teams went with the Saints leading 3-0. Seward would add on in the 6th with two outs after an error extended the inning to allow Mestas, Barrios, and Dallalio all to pick up RBI singles and make the score 7-0 in favor of the guys in green. Odessa would finally scratch out a run in the bottom of the inning but Pulley would minimize the damage and would keep the Saints ahead 7-1 going into the 7th inning. Nothing would be going for the Saints in the 7th and the Wranglers would get a couple of runs in their final at bats but it wouldn't be nearly enough as the Saints went on to win 7-3. Pulley would pick up the win and finish the game giving up 10 hits but just 2 runs in his 6 innings of work while he was backed on the offensive side by Barrios who went 4 for 4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI while Hill and Tanner Rainey each finished with a pair of hits and a run scored in the game.
GAME TWO BOX SCORE <http://www.scccsaints.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4220:21911--odessa-game-2&catid=56:baseball&Itemid=163>
On Sunday Odessa would jump out to a quick 4-0 lead on two 1st inning runs as well as two 2nd inning runs as Saints starter Jose Gonzalez had a hard time zeroing in on the strike zone with four walks. Seward would get one back in the 4th as Mestas would single to lead off the inning and would be brought home on an RBI groundout by Bean to make it 4-1 Wranglers. Odessa would match the Saints 4th inning run with one of their own to make it 5-1 but that would be the last run they would get off of Saints reliever Ty Thomas. Unfortunately for Seward, their offense would be unable to come up with that big hit as they left two on in the 5th and another two on in the 6th to remain down by the 5-1 count. In their final at bats the Saints would get hits from Dallalio and Britain Ibbotson to start the inning but a line drive double play would quickly thwart the threat and Seward would be unable to get a run across as they would fall 5-1. Ibbotson would lead the way for the Saints at the plate, going 3 for 3 and along with Bean who was 2 for 3 with the Saints only RBI, the two combined for 5 of the 7 Seward hits in the game. Thomas would throw 4 1/3 innings of relief allowing just 1 earned run in relief of Gonzalez who suffered the loss after throwing just 36 pitches in his start.
GAME THREE BOX SCORE <http://www.scccsaints.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4221:22011--odessa-game-3&catid=56:baseball&Itemid=163>
In the series finale it was again Odessa who jumped ahead early with two 1st inning runs after a pair of Saints fielding errors on the infield to make it 2-0 Wranglers. After a scoreless 2nd inning the Saints would score their first run of the game after Sam Pack walked to lead off the inning and would later find his way to the plate on a sacrifice fly by Mestas to make it 2-1 Odessa. After getting a double play ball to end the 2nd inning, Saints starter Gavin Glanz would get three straight ground balls in the 3rd inning and would get Seward back to the plate with a chance to tie the game or take the lead. The Saints would oblige him as Ibbotson singled with one out and would score on an RBI double from Dallalio to make it 2-2 after 3 ½. Odessa would take the lead back in the bottom of the inning as a two out triple would score two to put the Wranglers up 4-2 as the teams went to the 5th. The Saints wouldn't remain down for long as the Odessa pitching staff suddenly couldn't find the strike zone, walking a pair of Saints hitters and then hitting one with two outs to load the bases. They weren't don't with their wildness yet though as Dallalio was hit by another pitch to bring a run in and then Bryant would walk on five pitches to push another run across to tie the game without the benefit of a hit. Glanz would keep the Saints tied as he kept Odessa off the board in the bottom of the 5th and Seward would build on it as Rainey would lead off their half of the 6th with a single and Polito would walk behind him to put runners on first and second with no outs. A sacrifice bunt would push the two up 90 feet and Bean would hit a sacrifice fly to drive Rainey plateward and give Seward a 5-4 lead. With one Polito still out there and two outs in the inning, Barrios would blast the Saints first home run of the season to center field to put Seward up 7-4 as the teams went to the bottom half of the 6th. Now with the lead, Glanz would get a pop out to record the first out of the inning and would strike the next batter out but the pitch wasn't handled behind the plate and the hitter would reach first on the dropped third strike. The next hitter would hit a ground ball to first which should have ended the inning but it would be misplayed and result in an error to bring the tying run to the plate with just one out. That would chase Glanz from the game in favor of Willy Gustin and the sidearming lefty would pick up his starter, getting a one hopper right back to him on the first pitch he threw, starting a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning and keep the Saints in front 7-4. Seward would be unable to add an insurance run even after a two out error by the Wranglers in the 7th but it didn't matter as Gustin slammed the door on just six pitches in Odessa's final at bat to pick up his first save of the year and preserve the 7-4 win for the Saints. Glanz would get the win for Seward, going 5 1/3 allowing just 2 earned runs while Gustin earned the save by throwing just 7 pitches in a clean 1 2/3 innings of work. Offensively the Saints would manage only 5 hits in the game but would take advantage of 8 free passes to score their 7 runs. Dallalio would finish the day 2 for 3 with a pair of RBI's while Barrios would go just 1 for 3 but would drive in 2 on his first career home run and would score 2 runs as well.
The Seward County Saints are going to have to find a way
to play seven innings of baseball during their pregame warm-ups if they
keep with their current trend. The Saints again dropped the first game
of their split double header Monday to the Midland Chaparrals 6-2 before
bouncing back to take the back end of the double dip 11-3 over the
Ranger Rangers thanks in part to a strong effort with the bats in
Seward would get leadoff singles from Steve Polito and
Jordan Dallalio in both the 1st and 2nd innings but would be unable to
use those leadoff knocks and still had a zero next to their name after
two. Midland would have traffic of their own in their first two trips
to the plate but could cash two hits and three walks into just one
unearned run as they led 1-0 after two. The Saints half of the 3rd
would see two runners on base after a two out single and error but a
strikeout would end the frame and keep them trailing 1-0. A misplayed
fly ball and a pair of walks would put the Chaps in business in their
portion of the 3rd inning and they would pick up their second run of the
game without the courtesy of a hit after a groundout and would lead 2-0
to the 4th. The Saints would get a single run in both the 4th and 5th
innings to tie it thanks to a two out RBI double by Eddie Williams in
the 4th and a one out single by Jake Barrios in the 5th to make it 2-2.
Midland would respond to the Saints knotting it up in the top half of
the 5th as after two quick outs, three consecutive Chaps reached base in
front of their nine hole hitter Justin Lee who made Seward pay for the
lack of focus with two down as he laced a double down the left field
line to clear the bases and give Midland a 5-2 advantage after five.
The big inning seemed to take the fight out of the Saints as they would
go down in order in the 6th and 7th innings and the Chaps would tack a
run on in the 6th on a solo home run to give them the win by the final
count of 6-2. Austin Beisel would take the loss for the Saints, going 5
innings allowing 6 hits and 6 runs while striking out 5 and walking 4.
The Saints offense would outhit the Chaps 8-6 in the loss and saw two
hits apiece from Polito and Dallalio in the game.
SEWARD COUNTY/MIDLAND BOX SCORE
In the back end of the double header the Saints as usual
were ready to go as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning on
RBI singles from JT Bean, Dillon Bryant, and Brittain Ibbotson back to
back to back and then scored two more in the 2nd as Polito and Jon
Mestas got RBI knocks to make it 5-0 Seward. Ranger would get on the
board with a pair of unearned runs in the 3rd inning and would then cut
the Seward lead to 5-3 with a single run in the 4th. Seward would get
the run back in the bottom of the 4th as Mestas led off with a single
and stole second base before being driven home on Bean's second RBI
single of the game to put the Saints up 6-3. Keegan Hucul would finish
his 5 innings of work for Seward by retiring three straight after a
leadoff walk in the 5th and the Saints wouldn't score in the bottom of
the inning and to the 6th the game went with Seward still on top 6-3.
After a rough start in game three of the Odessa series, Jose Gonzalez
would take the bump again in relief on Monday against the Rangers and
would fare much better. The sophomore lefty would come in in relief of
Hucul in the 6th and would get a strikeout and two ground outs to retire
the side and get the Saints back up to the plate. They would respond
with a 5 run inning after a Ranger error got things going and Bean
picked up his third RBI hit of the afternoon followed by a walk and then
a double in the gap by Ibbotson to plate two more to make it 9-3 Seward.
The Saints would get another RBI single from Tanner Rainey and then a
sacrifice fly from Polito and when the inning was done would hold an
11-3 advantage after 6. Now with a comfortable lead, Gonzalez would
hammer the door shut in the top of the final inning with a 1-2-3 frame
to pick up his first career save and hand the Saints the 11-3 win. A
number of players would shine for the Saints in the win as they outhit
the Rangers 13-2 in the victory. Hucul would pick up his first career
win on the hill by going 5 innings and allowing just 2 hits and 1 earned
run while striking out 5 and the aforementioned Gonzalez would earn the
save by going 2 perfect innings and striking out a pair. Five different
Saints had multiple hits in the win lead by Bean who finished 3 for 4
with 3 RBI's and Mestas who would reach base in all four plate
appearances, going 3 for 3 with 3 runs scored and a walk in the
ballgame. Ibbotson would finish 2 for 4 with 3 RBI's, Polito would rack
up 2 hits, 2 runs, and 2 RBI's in 3 official trips to the plate, and
Rainey would enjoy his second multi-hit game of his Seward career going
2 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI in the win.
SEWARD COUNTY/RANGER BOX SCORE
The Monday split brings the Saints to 7-5 overall on the
season and an even 3-3 on their 6 game road trip to the Lone Star State.
Seward is now 1-5 in the front end of double headers and 6-0 in the back
end. They will take the week off of game action until Saturday when
they open their defense of the Jayhawk West crown with a four game set
with the Colby Trojans at Brent Gould Field with double headers starting
both Saturday and Sunday at 1:00. (Roy Allen)