Pitching Dominates Northeastern in Twinbill

KSCB News - February 17, 2014 6:38 am

Five Seward County pitchers combined to allow just five hits and one run while striking out 17 in 18 innings of work Sunday afternoon at Brent Gould Field as the Saints swept a double header from visiting Northeastern 11-0 and 7-1 to improve to 4-3 on the year.

Seward starter Austin King allowed a leadoff single to Britton Abbott in to start the game, but got a groundout before Abbott was caught stealing and then closed the inning with a strikeout to keep Northeastern off the board in the 1st.

In the Saints half of the 1st they got three straight singles from Bryson Allen, Brent Williams, and Reed Thompson to score a run and Connor Smith followed suit with a single to drive home another run to make it 2-0. Reigning Jayhawk Conference Player of the Week Jordan Leinweber was up next and stroked a triple down the right field line to score two more runs to make it 4-0 Saints. A groundout from Alex White brought Leinweber home and after the Saints batted around in the 1st they led 5-0.

King responded by shutting the Plainsmen down in the next two innings, tossing 1-2-3 innings in both the 2nd and 3rd to keep Seward in front 5-0.

Thompson led off the Seward 3rd with a single up the middle and Smith followed that up with a single of his own to put two on with nobody out. Leinweber once again cashed in on the RBI opportunity, lacing a double to the gap to score both runners and put the Saints in front 7-0. Later on in the inning Brandon Rix flared a single to short right field to score Leinweber to put the Saints on top 8-0 after 3.

King was dialed in in the 4th, throwing six straight strikes to fan the first two batters he saw before getting a groundout to end the inning a swift half to keep the shutout intact and the Saints in front 8-0.

It remained an 8-0 game into the 6th where King once again had no problem with the Northeastern hitters, sitting them down in order to finish his day.

Saints reliever Rowdy Sheets worked his way into a little bit of trouble to start the 7th with a pair of walks in his collegiate debut, but another Seward hurler making his season debut would keep Northeastern off the board as Ryan McCutcheon got a double play to end a bases loaded threat and the teams went to stretch time with Seward in front 8-0.

Williams led off the bottom of the 7th with a rocket over the left field wall for the Saints first home run as a team this season to push the lead to 9-0 and McCutcheon kept the lead there with a pair of strikeouts in a scoreless top of the 8th for the Saints.

Jake Fuller and Kevin Connolly singled for the Saints with one out in the 8th and with two outs Williams squared up on another ball, this time driving it to the gap in left center to score the two runners with a double to extend Seward’s lead to 11-0.

McCutcheon finished the Saints shutout bid in the 9th, facing the top of the Northeastern lineup and setting them down without issue to close out the 11-0 win for Seward.

King earned his second win of the season with 6 shutout innings of work, allowing just a pair of singles in the process while striking out 6. McCutcheon finished things for the Saints, going the final 2 2/3 innings without allowing a hit and striking out 3 Northeastern batters.

Seward outhit the Plainsmen 16 to 2 in the victory, getting a hit or an RBI from every player in the lineup. Williams finished the game 3 for 4 with 3 RBI’s and was just a triple away from the cycle. Smith was a perfect 3 for 3, scoring 2 runs and driving in another. Leinweber was one of four Saints to have 2 hits in the win as he finished 2 for 4 with a double, a triple, and 4 RBI’s.

SEWARD COUNTY/NORTHEASTERN GAME ONE BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2013-14/boxscores/20140216_oiwx.xml>

Once again it didn’t take the Saints very long to get going in game two of the double header. Allen singled to start the Seward half of the 1st and Brandon Urquizo doubled on the first pitch that he saw to score Allen to quickly make it 1-0 Saints after 1.

Seward starter Derrick Valenzuela worked around leadoff walks in the 1st and 2nd innings to keep Northeastern scoreless through two, but a mishandled bunt by the righthander and a bases loaded walk would cost him a run as Northeastern tied the game up in the 3rd. With the bases still loaded and reigning NJCAA home run champ coming to the plate, it looked like things could unravel for the Saints. However, Valenzuela got slugger JJ Bissell to fly out to end the threat and keep the game tied 1-1.

Both teams went down 1-2-3 in their next at bats and Seward couldn’t take advantage of a pair of singles in the 4th as it remained a 1-1 game after 4.

Valenzuela tossed his second straight solid inning in the top half of the 5th and the Saints offense rewarded him with a crooked number in the bottom half of the frame. Blake Estep walked to get things going and a single from White put runners on the corner with one out. After a strikeout and a routine groundball to third base it looked like the inning would end quietly, but an error on the Plainsmen allowed the Saints to score the go ahead run and they weren’t done there. Williams continued to swing his hot bat and laced his second 2 RBI double of the day, this one to the opposite field to stretch the Saints lead to 4-1. Seward added another run in the inning and after 5 it was 5-1 Saints.

JB Olson replaced Valenzuela on the mound and worked around a leadoff single in the 6th to put up a zero in his first career relief inning.

Olson needed just eight pitches to breeze through the Northeastern bats before stretch time and the Saints opened the lead up in the bottom of the 7th as Williams hammered another RBI double and scored later in the inning on Northeastern’s second error of the game to make it 7-1.

Again in the Northeastern 8th, it was quick work for Olson. The Saints freshman righty threw just six pitches in the inning to set down the Plainsmen and after a double play ended the Seward 8th, the teams went to the final inning of play with the score 7-1 in favor of the guys in green.

Given the ball to close things out, Olson did just that, recording his third straight 1-2-3 frame to finish the contest and give the Saints the double header sweep with a 7-1 win.

Valenzuela earned his first career win with 5 innings of work, allowing just 2 hits and 1 run while striking out 5. Olson notched his first career save, going the final 4 innings and yielding just 1 hit while punching out 3 Plainsmen hitters.

Seward outhit the Plainsmen 12-3 in the game. Williams led the way for the Saints, going 3 for 4 with 3 RBI’s and 2 runs scored while Urquizo finished 2 for 4 with 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.

SEWARD COUNTY/NORTHEASTERN GAME TWO BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2013-14/boxscores/20140216_a73z.xml>

The Saints improve to 4-3 with the sweep while Northeastern falls to 0-6 on the year. The same two teams will lock up again on Monday at Brent Gould Field at 12:00 for a pair of 7 inning contests.


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