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A Rose and a Thorn for Saints in Midwest City

KSCB News - February 20, 2014 1:56 pm

It was a day of missed chances and opportunities for the Seward County Saints in their double header at Rose State on Wednesday. The Saints looked like they had game one wrapped up with a 5-3 lead in the 7th inning against the Radiers but a two run home run tied the game and send the game to extras where it eventually took 12 innings for the Saints to win 9-6. In the second game of the twinbill the Saints held an early 4-0 lead, saw that evaporate, then held a 6-4 lead just to see Rose State come from behind to win 7-6 to split the double header.

In the 1st inning of game one, the Saints had a chance to strike early as Rose State pitching had trouble finding the strike zone. Seward loaded the bases on a dropped third strike, a bean ball, and a walk with one out, but the middle of their order couldn’t capitalize and a pair of fly outs later the inning ended with the bases still drunk with runners.

Rose State did take advantage of much of the same in the bottom half of the inning. Two Seward walks set the Raiders up nicely and a two out single scored a run to put Rose on top 1-0 early.

Saints starter Pete Macke limited the Raiders from there, keeping Rose State to just one run through three where the Saints finally rewarded him with some offense in the top half of the 4th.

Connor Smith and Jordan Leinweber singled back to back with one out and Brandon Rix followed suit to load the bases for the Saints. After a fly out put the second out on the board without scoring a run, sophomore shortstop Jake Fuller came through in the clutch, whacking a 2-1 pitch through a hole for a single to score two and give the Saints a 2-1 advantage. After a wild pitch moved the runners up to second and third, Bryson Allen got into the act, lacing a double to the gap to score two more to give Seward 4-1 lead as the top half of the inning came to a close.

Three Rose State hits and a sacrifice fly plated a pair of runs for the Raiders in the bottom half of the inning and after four complete, it was Seward 4 and Rose State 3.

The Saints had a chance to answer right back in the top of the 5th as another Rose State error and Smith’s second single in as many innings put them with two on and one out, but a fly out and a strikeout ended the threat and kept it a 4-3 game.

Seward was able to tack on a run in the top half of the 6th inning after Fuller was hit by a pitch and Allen drove him home with one out to make it 5-3 and reliever Brent Bezio worked his way out of trouble in the bottom half of the inning to keep it a 5-3 game as the teams went to the 7th and final inning… or so they thought.

Just as the Saints felt themselves knocking on the door of victory with a 5-3 lead and just three outs to get to secure the win, within the first two pitches of the bottom of the 7th inning, the game was tied. A double on the first pitch of the frame and a towering home run on the second pitch knotted the game up at 5 and send the game to extra innings.

In the battle of the bullpens, Seward’s second reliever of the day, Thomas Garland, held Rose State in check in the extra frames. Garland allowed just a lone single in each the 8th, 9th, and 10th innings against the Raiders, but the Saints couldn’t muster anything either and Seward and Rose went to the 11th still tied at 5.

In the top half of the 11th, the Raiders defense let them down again as two errors and a balk allowed Seward to score a run without the benefit of a hit to take a 6-5 lead.

However, the Seward defense was less than tight as well. A one out error and two Rose State singles with two outs in the inning again foiled the Saints chances at the win and tied the game up and forced the game to the 12th tied at 6.

Reed Thompson tripled to lead off the Seward half of the 12th and with one out, Leinweber cashed him in with a single to again put the Saints on top 7-6. This time the Saints would get a little bit of insurance as Rix walked and Alex White ripped a single to push their second run of the inning across to make it 8-6. A sac fly from Fuller made it 9-6 Seward as they went to the bottom of the 12th.

Again, just when it looked like the game would be over, Rose State began to make more noise. The Raiders loaded the bases in the bottom of the 12th putting the tying runs on base and the winning run at the plate. But, in his sixth inning of relief, the sidewinder Garland wiggled his way out of trouble, getting a ground ball to get out of the jam and clinch the win for the Saints 9-6.

Garland earned the well-deserved win in the game, going 6 innings and allowing just 1 unearned run, while striking out 8 for Seward. Allen finished 2 for 5 with 3 RBI’s for the Saints while Smith, Leinweber, and Kevin Connolly each had 2 hits for Seward. Rose State outhit the Saints 15-13 in the contest and both teams committed 3 errors.

The 12 inning game marked the longest Seward game since the 2010 Region VI Championship game when the Saints lost 8-6 to Hutchinson in 12.


Like they did in game one, the Saints had a chance to take advantage of wild Rose State pitching right off the bat as the first two hitters of the top half of the 1st reached on walks to put two on with nobody out. But, like they did in game one as well, they were not able to capitalize and just six pitches later, the fire was extinguished without a Saints run crossing the plate.

In the 2nd, the Saints got things going in their best offensive inning of the day. White doubled home John Solberg with one out to score the first run of the game and White scored later in the inning as Brandon Uriquizo singled with two outs to make it 2-0 Seward. After a walk and a Rose State error, Leinweber picked up the Saints second two out RBI single of the inning, this one driving home two more Seward runs to put the Saints in front 4-0.

The Raiders struck back in the 3rd, using a Seward error, a walk, and a single to load the bases with nobody out. A one out single scored one run and two straight bases loaded walks pushed the second and third runs of the inning across to make it 4-3. That’s when Saints skipper Galen McSpadden made a very rare pitching change, flopping twins on the mound as starter Nolan McCutcheon took a seat in favor of his twin brother Ryan McCutcheon. Ryan McCutcheon got a ground ball which allowed the tying run to score, but averted further damage as the game was deadlocked at 4 after three full innings of action.

The Saints wasted no time in answering the Raiders big inning. Allen and Brent Williams set the talked for Leinweber once again and he cashed in the go ahead run with a single to score Allen to make it 5-4 Seward. Blake Estep followed Leinweber’s single up with a single of his own to push Williams across to extend Seward’s advantage to 6-4.

Rose State cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning with a run to make it 6-5 and that is where they went to the bottom of the 6th inning, with Seward clinging to a one run lead.

In the Rose State 6th a costly Seward error started the inning and after a wild pitch and a sac fly, the game was tied at 6. For the second straight game, the Saints were bitten by the longball as Rose State broke the tie with a solo home run to take a 7-6 lead.

Seward didn’t mount much of a fight in their final at bats as the first two hitters struck out and after a walk put the tying run on, a ground out on the first pitch to the next hitter ended that chance and gave Rose State the 7-6 win.

The Saints offense was limited to just 6 hits in the loss with the majority of the damage coming off of the bat of Leinweber who finished 2 for 4 with 3 RBI’s He was the only Seward player to have more than 1 hit in the game. Ryan McCutcheon was tagged with the loss, going 3 innings in relief and allowing 3 hits and 3 runs.


The win in game one ran the Saints win streak to five, while the loss in game two snapped it and put them at 7-4 overall on the year. Seward will continue a busy stretch this weekend as they head to Texas where they will play Odessa, Midland, and New Mexico on Saturday, Sunday and Monday before starting Jayhawk West play next weekend at home against Barton.

Roy Allen


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