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A Pair of Walk Off Winners for Saints Over Butler

Brock Kappelmann - April 22, 2024 6:51 am

Jay Daubenberger

Liberal, Kansas – Seward County baseball grabbed a key KJCCC win over the Butler Grizzlies on the road this past Friday and continued their success on Sunday with a doubleheader sweep over their Jayhawk rival thanks to a clutch walk-off home run by Nathan Hopkins off the first pitch of the ninth inning to clinch the win.

Seward County fell behind to the Grizzlies by two scores in game one before they were able to score some runs of their own in the bottom of the second off an RBI single from Hopkins followed by a 2 RBI double by Todd Baffa to give the Saints a 3-2 lead. Cameron Cartwright kept the scoring going as he stepped up to the plate and slammed out a two-run homer to pull in front by three 5-2.

A four-run inning in the third by the Grizzlies put them back in front by one at 6-5 before SCCC grabbed the lead back with a home run bomb from Baffa that scored a pair of runs while an RBI triple from Keagon Pitton grew it out by one more run for an 8-6 lead. The score continued to go back and forth with Butler rounding the bases three times to grab the lead but Seward County matched it with three of their own to go back in front by two before a 2 RBI single from Kelvin Juarez made it a four run lead at 13-9 entering the sixth.

SCCC’s offense was red hot through the first game and continued to be effective into the final inning as Butler managed to score a plethora of runs to hold a one run lead entering the bottom of the seventh 14-13. A costly error by the Grizzlies allowed Connor Raney to make his way home to tie the ball game and an RBI single from Baffa helped Hopkins score the game winning run 15-14 to end game one.

Game two saw Butler grabbing the first lead in the top of the third behind a three-run homer to put the Saints in a 4-0 hole early on. Baffa grounded out to shortstop to bring Brock Sundlie in for the first Seward County run of game two, but the Grizzlies scored on another home run bomb to keep the gap at four with a 5-1 score heading into the sixth.

It looked like a long road ahead for the Saints but Mason Hagel-Pitt took a shortcut with a three-run homer beyond the fences to quickly make it a one score game before Pitton added a solo home run of his own to lock it up at 5-5. Mason Gilbert helped Seward County grab the lead for the first time in game two with a ground out to short stop to bring home Raney and make it a 6-5 game with SCCC in the driver seat. A late run by Butler in the top of the eighth tied the score up once again at 6-6 and it looked like extra innings might be on the way heading into the bottom of the ninth where it took just one pitch for Hopkins to shut the door on the Grizzlies with a big walk-off home run to end the series with Seward County winning 3 games to Butler’s 1.

The Saints baseball team now improves to 25-22 overall on the 2024 season while going 13-11 in KJCCC action including now having a series win over Butler. Seward County will now prepare for their next conference series which will put them against the Colby Trojans with the first two games of the series being at home on Brent Gould Field with game one starting at 1:00 PM on 1270 and 92.3. 


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