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Saints Sweep Plainsmen Again

KSCB News - February 18, 2014 6:31 am

fter completely shutting down the high powered Northeastern offense on day one of their series, the Seward County Saints pitchers gave the Plainsmen a dose of dejavu on Monday at Brent Gould Field, allowing just two runs in 14 innings of baseball as the Saints completed the sweep with 2-1 and 4-1 wins to improve to 6-3 on the year.

The Saints sent sophomore Kennan Hall to the hill in game three of the series and the right hander had some trouble early on as he walked a pair of Northeastern hitters in the top half of the 1st before getting a pair of fly outs to end the threat and keep the Plainsmen off the board.

Unlike Friday though, the Saints took a while to get going offensively. Seward left runners on at the end of the 1st and 2nd innings and on the other side Hall kept the Plainsmen off the board as the teams went to the 3rd scoreless.

Hall worked around a two out walk in the top half of the 3rd and the Saints offense finally rewarded him in the bottom half of the inning. Hudson Bilodeau singled to start the inning and stole second three pitches later before moving to third on a groundout to setup an RBI chance for red hot Brent Williams. Williams wouldn’t get a chance to drive the run in however as a wild pitch scored Bilodeau to the dismay of Northeastern Head Coach and former Saint Bryan Shepherd to put Seward on top 1-0.

The Saints gave the run right back in the top half of the 4th as Northeastern scored their first run of the game without the benefit of a hit to tie the game up at 1.

The next two innings went by without anyone being able to put together a real threat even while both Seward and Northeastern went to their bullpens.

Seward reliever Adam Guay had Northeastern guessing in the top half of the 6th, breezing through the inning on just nine pitches, but the Saints managed to see just six pitches in their half of the inning and quickly the game went to the 7th still knotted at 1.

Guay continued to deal in the top half of the 7th for Seward and the Saints half of the 7th started off promising as Jake Fuller reached on an error and John Solberg placed a bunt perfectly between the Plainsmen defense to put two on with nobody out. Brandon Uriquizo was called on to lay down a bunt which he did successfully to move the runners to second and third and Kevin Connolly was hit by a pitch to load the bases up with one out. On the next pitch, Bryson Allen was hit by a fluttering curveball that missed its mark to push the winning run home to give the Saints an anticlimactic 2-1 walk off win.

Saints pitching allowed just 2 hits in the win as Hall started and went 4 innings, allowing 1 hit and 1 unearned run while Guay finished the final 3 innings, allowing just 1 hit while striking out a pair to earn the win. Seward managed just 5 hits in the victory, 2 coming from Solberg in his first career multihit game.

SEWARD COUNTY/NORTHEASTERN GAME THREE BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2013-14/files/SCNJC3.pdf>

In the series finale, Seward starter Grant Glaze also fought control issues early, walking a pair of batters in the 1st inning before working out of a jam to keep Northeastern off the board.

Uriquizo led off the Saints 1st with a double and Allen reached on an error to put two on with nobody out for the middle of the Seward order. Williams doubled to score Uriquizo and Connolly hit a sac fly deep enough to score Allen to make it 2-0 Seward quickly. After a walk to Mason Marshall, Brandon Rix grounded out to bring Williams home to give the Saints a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.

Glaze worked around traffic again in the 2nd but Northeastern finally got to the freshman in the 3rd, putting together their first two extra base hits of the series to score a run to make it 3-1. Glaze bared down though and with a runner at third and just one out, was able to keep the Plainsmen from scoring their second run of the inning as he kept the Saints on top 3-1.

After a leadoff double in the 4th for Northeastern, the Saints went to the bullpen and called upon Chris Juracek. Juracek got two groundballs around a strikeout to douse the fire and frustrate the Plainsmen once again as the Saints remained in front 3-1.

Rix was hit by a pitch to start the Seward 4th and a walk to Blake Estep moved him to second with nobody out. A single later in the inning by Alex White loaded the bases and a sac fly from Uriquizo drove Estep home to extend the Saints lead to 4-1.

For the third straight inning, the struggling Northeastern offense left a runner at third base to end the inning in the 5th and after the Saints were blanked in the bottom half of the inning, they went to the 6th with the score Seward 4 and Northeastern 1.

Northeastern put together a rally in the top half of the 6th, using a one out error and a single behind it to put two runners on base, but the Plainsmen ran into an out at third base to squelch the threat as they wasted a golden opportunity to cut into the Saints 4-1 lead.

It was a quick bottom of the 6th for Seward and the Saints turned to sidewinder Thomas Garland to close things out in the 7th. Garland hit the first batter he saw, but got a strikeout of the next batter to calm his nerves. A walk later in the inning brought the tying run to the plate in the form of reigning NJCAA home run leader JJ Bissell, but Bissell’s forgettable trip to Liberal continued as he grounded out to end the game to give the Saints a 4-1 win.

Juracek earned the victory, going 3 shutout innings and allowing just 2 hits while Garland came in to earn a save with a scoreless 7th. Northeastern outhit the Saints 6-4 in the Seward win, but the Saints came up big when the Plainsmen did not. Seward used sac flies from Connolly and Uriquizo to bring home runs and Williams and Rix also picked up RBI’s in the victory.

SEWARD COUNTY/NORTHEASTERN GAME FOUR BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2013-14/files/SCNJC4.pdf>

The Saints improve to 6-3 with the sweep while Northeastern falls to a miserable 0-8 to open up the 2014 campaign. Seward will not have much time to enjoy the sweep as they hit the field again on Wednesday when they travel to Rose State for a double header before a busy weekend which will see them travel to Odessa, Midland, and New Mexico on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

 

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