Hernandez and Keller Lead Saints to Sweep

KSCB News - March 28, 2016 6:23 am

Hernandez & Keller Tame Raiders to Complete Sweep

3/27/2016 1:27 AM

Roy Allen

March 26, 2016

Seward County aces 1A and 1B were on display once again Saturday afternoon at Brent Gould Field in Liberal as the Saints took on the Rose State Raiders in a non-conference doubleheader. Lefty Jakob Hernandez started things off with another unbelievable outing, following up his Jayhawk Conference record 19 strikeout performance last week with 17 more Saturday in an 8-2 Seward win. In game two is was righthander Adam Keller’s turn and all he did was spin a complete game three hitter to again give the Saints an 8-2 win, this one to sweep the series.

After recording his final 14 outs of last Saturday’s record breaking performance against Pratt via strikeout, Jakob Hernandez began this Saturday’s game with Rose State in an unsurprising way, fanning all three Raiders he faced in the 1st to start off the game with a bang.

It didn’t take long before the Saints took their first lead of the day as Logan Nethercot and Antonio Dorado drove home runs in the bottom half of the 1st inning to quickly put Seward in front 2-0.

Hernandez was back at it again in the 2nd, striking out all three Raiders he faced to run his strikeout streak to 20 straight.

A pair of Hernandez walks and a two out Rose State double put the Raiders on the board in the 3rd with a run, but once again Hernandez racked up all three outs of the inning with strikeouts to run his total in the game to nine as Rose sliced the Saints lead in half to 2-1.

A ringing single up the middle off the bat of Judah Sweat got the Saints their run back in the bottom of the inning and after three complete it was Seward 3 and Rose State 1.

Hernandez walked the leadoff man in the 4th, but punched out the next three Raiders, unbelievably striking out the side for the fourth straight inning to begin the game.

Another leadoff walk by Hernandez started the Rose 5th, but a strikeout of the next batter was number 13 in the game for the lefty and ran his streak of consecutive outs recorded via strikeout to 27. A weak fly out to right broke the week long streak, but Hernandez began another one by fanning his 14th of the afternoon to end the inning and keep Seward ahead 3-1.

Two Seward County errors in the Rose State 6th allowed the Raiders to plate a run to cut it to a 3-2 Saints lead. Hernandez struck out one more, running his game total to 15.

The Saints blew the game open in the bottom of the 6th, getting a two run single from Justin Graff-Rowe and a two run double down the right field line from Logan Nethercot to open up a 7-2 lead. A misplayed ball in the outfield later in the inning allowed another Seward run to go and to the 7th and final inning the two teams went with the Saints comfortably in front 8-2.

With his pitch count mountain, Hernandez took the mound again to finish things out in the 7th and that he did. Hernandez struck out two more and got a groundout to short to finish things off, wrapping up the 8-2 win to clinch the series for Seward.

Hernandez’s numbers, which are beginning to resemble those in the video game ranks, were incredible once again. The southpaw went the distance, improving to 5-2 on the year as he allowed just 2 Rose State hits and 1 earned run while striking out 17. With 17 strikeouts Saturday, Hernandez now owns the top two spots in the Jayhawk Conference’s all-time single game record book with his 19 last week and 17 against Rose. The Saints offense was good as well in game two of the series, pounding out 12 hits and getting 4 hits and 5 runs driven home in the middle from Graff-Rowe and Nethercot.

SEWARD COUNTY/ROSE STATE GAME ONE BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2015-16/boxscores/20160326_bsg8.xml>

Saints ace 1B, Adam Keller, took the mound for Seward in the series finale. He was just as good as Hernandez early on, keeping Rose without a hit through the first three innings while the Saints scored four unearned runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning after a Raider error to jump in front 4-0. Seward got RBI doubles in the inning from Josh Nicol, Jared Ledbetter, and Jared Biddy, as well as an RBI single from Graff-Rowe to take the big early lead.

Nethercot smashed a triple to the gap to start the Saints 3rd and scored on a wild pitch to put Seward County in front 5-0.

Rose State picked up their first hit of the game with one out in the 4th, but Keller quickly erased that baserunner, inducing a 4-6-4 double play ball to end the threat and the inning with the Saints remaining in front 5-0.

Keller worked another quick inning in the 5th, going three up three down to keep his shutout intact and the Saints blew the game open on offense with three runs after a Rose State dropped third strike in the bottom half to take an 8-0 advantage.

Rose State broke up Keller’s shutout bid with a solo home run on the first pitch of the 6th inning and added another windblown shot later in the inning to cut the Saints lead to 8-2.

Seward couldn’t push any insurance runs across in the bottom of the 6th, but Saints reliever Jonathan Castillo didn’t need it as he came in and shut the door on the Raiders in their final at bats to secure an 8-2 win for the Saints to sweep the series.

The Saints again dominated every facet of the game in the win. Seward banged out 12 hits compared to just 3 for the Raiders. Keller went 6 innings, allowing just 3 hits and 2 runs while striking out 5 to improve to 4-1 on the year. Eight of nine Seward starters had hits in the win, led by Graff-Rowe who had 2 hits and 2 RBI’s for the Saints.

SEWARD COUNTY/ROSE STATE GAME THREE BOX SCORE <http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2015-16/boxscores/20160326_p3v1.xml>

The Saints wrap up their eight game home stand a perfect 8-0, extending their longest win streak of the season to improve to 16-15 on the year, the first time in over a month that they have climbed over the .500 mark. Rose State’s 2016 struggles continue as they fall to 10-17 on the season.

Seward returns to Jayhawk West Conference action in their next out next Saturday and Sunday, when they travel to Colby to take on a Trojan team that leads the league at 12-4 at days end Saturday.


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