Saints Split Valentine’s Day with Plainsmen

KSCB News - February 15, 2015 10:50 am

Valentine’s Day is a day for couples and for the Seward County Saints and Northeastern Plainsmen Saturday it was a day for a couple of ballgames at Brent Gould Field in Liberal. JB Olson was dominate on the mound for the Saints in game one of the twinbill, tossing a complete game shutout in a 7-0 Seward victory. In game two it was Northeastern putting together big innings in the 5th and 10th to knock off the Saints by a count of 9-5 in 10 innings.

It didn’t take the Saints long to get the scoring going in game one of the double dip as Brandon Urquizo and Alex White singled to start the game and Brent Williams picked up a single of his own to drive home Urquizo to put Seward up 1-0. The Saints added another run in the inning on a double play and after one, Seward led 2-0.

Saints starter and Oklahoma signee JB Olson cruised through three for Seward, allowing just a 2nd inning single as far as baserunners and his offense rewarded him with two more runs in the bottom of the 3rd as Justin Graff-Rowe ripped a shot into the left field corner to make it a 4-0 game in favor of the Saints.

Olson found himself in some trouble in the 4th, but was able to work out of the jam unscathed and put up another zero in the 5th to keep Seward in front 4-0.

Northeastern went into the bullpen in the bottom half of the 5th and Saints catcher Brent Williams greeted the reliever rudely into the game as he laced a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall for a solo home run to put Seward on top 5-0. The Saints didn’t stop there, getting doubles from Brandon Rix and another from Graff-Rowe to make it a 6-0 game and with two outs in the inning Jared Ledbetter picked up his second hit of the game to stretch the Saints lead to 7-0.

That was more than enough for Olson who struck out two Plainsmen in the 6th in a 1-2-3 frame and with two on in the 7th and his shutout on the line, got his sixth strikeout of the game to close things out and wrap up a 7-0 win for Seward.

Olson was spectacular in the victory, going the distance and allowing just four hits for Seward. The righthander struck out 6 and didn’t walk a batter in his first win of the 2015 campaign. The Saints offense backed him with 10 hits in the contest. Graff-Rowe had a big day with a 2 for 3 effort, cracking a pair of doubles and driving home 3. Williams also had 2 hits and 2 RBI’s in the winning cause while Ledbetter finished a perfect 3 for 3 for Seward.


After being blanked by Olson in game one of the double header, Northeastern came out swinging in game two and put together a pair of hits and used a beanball to push their first run of the day across to take an early 1-0 lead in the top half of the 1st.

The Saints answered right back though, getting a RBI triple from Williams and an RBI single from Rix with one out in the bottom half of the frame to quickly put Seward on top 2-1.

The score remained 2-1 in favor of the Saints into the bottom half of the 4th when a misplayed fly ball by the Northeastern outfield helped the Saints get something going, scoring a run and setting up another scoring chance in which Williams took advantage of with another RBI single to put the Saints up 4-1.

Just when it looked like things were all going good for Seward, Northeastern answered. The Plainsmen put together five singles and used a Seward error to score four times in the top half of the 5th inning, chasing Saints starter Hayden Howard from the contest and taking a 5-4 lead.

Seward reliever Nate Sylvester kept Northeastern in check through the 7th and the Saints picked up their little lefty, taking full advantage of a two out Northeastern error to score a run and knot the score at 5.

Each team put a runner on but couldn’t score in the 8th and the game remained deadlocked at 5 into the 9th.

In the Northeastern 9th, the Saints began the inning with an error and a sacrifice bunt moved the runner into scoring position with one out, but Sylvester kept dealing, getting a groundout and strikeout to get out of the trouble and give his team a chance for a walkoff win.

After two quick outs, Chad Kennedy sparked a two out rally for the Saints and after Kennedy’s single and two free passes, the Saints had the bases loaded and the game winning run just 90 feet away. But this time it wasn’t meant to be as a groundout ended the threat and sent the game to extra innings.

The Saints defense let them down in the extra frame as a pair of errors allowed Northeastern to pick up momentum and the Plainsmen turned it into a big inning, scoring four times against three different Seward pitchers to blow the game open to 9-5.

Seward made some noise of their own in the bottom of the 10th, but a double play erased their chances for a comeback and a line drive out ended things, giving Northeastern the 9-5 win for the split.

There were 29 hits in the game, evenly split with 15 for Seward and 14 for the Plainsmen. The Saints got 3 hit games from Ledbetter and Williams in the loss while Williams also drove home 2 of the Saints 5 runs. Sylvester was the tough luck loser, going 4 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, allowing 3 hits and 3 unearned runs while striking out 4 for Seward.


Seward goes to 3-4 on the year with the split while Northeastern moves to 2-4. The two teams are scheduled to resume the series on Sunday with a 12:00 doubleheader, but with frigid temperatures expected to move into Liberal overnight, the games are questionable at nights end Saturday. Stay tuned to and the Saints official Twitter feed @SaintsSports for updates.

Roy Allen


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