It was ‘close but no cigar’ for the Seward County Saints once again on Sunday at Brent Gould Field as they came up just short 5-4 in game one of their doubleheader with Colby and dropped a 10-4 extra innings decision in game two to drop their first ever series in Liberal to the Trojans.
Colby jumped on the board first in game three of the series as they put together a string of two out hits in the 2nd to score three times and take an early 3-0 lead.
The Trojans added another two out run in the 3rd to make it a 4-0 game and tallied their fifth run of the game in the 4th to stretch their advantage to 5-0.
Seward couldn’t get anything going on offense until the 7th when they finally broke through against Colby’s Bryce Fraser. Pitcher Brian Tims helped himself with a double down the line to score a run and make it a 5-1 game and he as well as Jacob Nielsen scored when Law Greiner lifted off on a three run home run to get Seward to within one at 5-4. That was as close as the guys in green would get though as the next Saints hitter grounded out, effectively ending the game in a 5-4 Colby victory.
Each side had six hits in the contest. Tims was the only Saint with multiple hits in the loss while Greiner had three of Seward’s four RBI’s in the game. Tims took the loss on the mound, going the distance while allowing six hits and five runs while striking out seven to fall to 1-5 on the year.
SEWARD COUNTY/COLBY GAME THREE BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2016-17/boxscores/20170326_g5ai.xml>
The offenses were quiet early in the series finale with neither team getting anything across through the first three innings of action.
Seward’s defense buckled under the pressure in the 4th, committing a pair of mistakes to allow Colby to strike first with three runs in the frame to take a 3-0 advantage.
The Saints had a chance to answer in the bottom of the inning, putting runners on the corners with two outs, but a strikeout looking ended the threat without a swing as Colby remained in front 3-0.
Seward starter Ethan Earhart struck out the side in the 5th to run his total in the game to 11, but again, the Saints couldn’t take advantage of a golden scoring opportunity in the bottom half of the frame to keep it a 3-0 game in favor of the Trojans.
The Saints finally got on the board in the 6th as Cody Stineman left the building with a two run shot to right center to get Seward quickly back to within one at 3-2.
Neither team scored in the 7th and it looked like Seward had another 1-2-3 inning working in the 8th, but three straight Trojans reached with two outs and an RBI single plated a big insurance run to make it 4-2 Colby.
Seward loaded the bases with one out in the 8th and were gifted a run on a walk to make it a 4-3 game. A line drive bullet to third base looked like it might be a double play to end the Saints trip to the plate, but it bounced off a Trojan glove and allowed Seward to push the equalizer across to make it a 4-4 game after eight.
Colby got a runner to third in the 9th as they tried to retake a lead, but Seward reliever Brayden Williams induced a groundball to get out of the inning and keep things tied at 4.
The Saints then had their chance to win it as they got a two out walk and a Colby throwing error to put a runner on third with two outs. It looked like Seward had a walk off win as Nielsen scalded a ball to right, but a diving play by the Trojans in the outfield squelched that thought and sent the second game of the series to extra innings.
Colby loaded the bases without a hit in the 10th and quickly cleared the bases with a one out triple to take a 7-4 lead. They continued to kick the Saints when they were down with back to back two out doubles, scoring three more times to make it a 10-4 game.
With their balloon popped, the Saints went down quietly in the bottom of the 10th as Colby took a 10-4 victory to win the series 3-1.
It wasn’t a particularly aesthetically pleasing game as the two teams combined for 15 walks and eight errors while Colby outhit Seward 9-8. Tim Fitzgerald had two hits for Seward while Stineman drove home three with his 6th inning home run. Earhart worked five innings, allowing just three unearned runs while punching out a career best 11 in a no decision. Williams took the loss out of the Seward pen, yielding three runs without giving up a hit to fall to 1-1 on the year.
SEWARD COUNTY/COLBY GAME FOUR BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2016-17/boxscores/20170326_inog.xml>
The Saints fall to an unprecedented 10-21 overall and 3-9 in Jayhawk West play where they now sit in 8th place, just one game ahead of Pratt. Colby wins their first ever series at Brent Gould Field, improving to 19-14 overall and 11-5 in conference play.