Jay Daubenberger

Liberal, Kansas – Jayhawk conference action began on Thursday for the Saints as they faced the Conqs of Dodge City for the first two games of a four-game series between the two conference rivals. Brian Luna Alvarez was able to strike out nine batters at the plate to blank DC3 in game one 4-0, but the Saints could not repeat their success in game two as they fell 8-5 to split the first two games of the series Thursday afternoon at Brent Gould Field.

Luna Alvarez started strong on the mound for the Saints with two strikeouts in the top of the first to hold the Conqs scoreless while Trenton Rowan helped put SCCC on the board early in the bottom with a three-run homer out to right field to give Seward County a quick 3-0 lead. The next few innings were a pitching battle as Luna Alvarez kept finding ways to strike out Dodge City’s batters to hold them at bay and remain in front. A wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth by the Conqs allowed Cameron Cartwright to make his way home for the Saints’ fourth run of the game to move ahead 4-0 where the score would remain with Seward County grabbing the win in game one.

Dodge City opened the second game on fire as they matched the Saints’ total from game one in the top of the first inning to take a commanding 4-0 lead. A few innings later a single out to left field grew the Conqs lead even further to 6-0 in the top of the fourth while a sacrifice fly to left field from Kaden Juarez drove in Rowan to help get SCCC on the board in game two as they slashed into the DC3 lead to put the score at 6-2. A triple from Mason Hagel-Pitt on a fly ball out to center scored another pair for the Saints and bring it back to within two at 6-4 against their Jayhawk rival. Another big hit from the Conqs in the top of the ninth landed beyond the fences for a two-run homer that put them back in front by four 8-4 and despite a late score off a single by Todd Baffa to make it 8-5, Seward County fell in game two to split the doubleheader on the day.

The Saints now sit at 13-12 on their 2024 season overall and split on the day to go 1-1 in their conference opener. They will continue their series against Dodge City on Saturday on the road to play their last two games of the four-game series against the Conquistadors.