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Saints Walk Off Trojans Twice

KSCB News - April 6, 2015 7:00 am

In what ended up being a day in which both Seward County Head Coach Galen McSpadden and Colby Head Coach Ryan Carter would leave the field scratching their heads in disbelief, the Seward County Saints found some way, despite never leading during play on the day, to pick up a pair of walk off wins over the visiting Colby Trojans Saturday at Brent Gould Field, winning game one 8-7 on a single from Alex White and game two 7-6 on a Colby error to win the series 3-1.

Both Seward and Colby had their chances early on in game three of the series and game one of Saturday’s doubleheader. Colby had two on in the top half of the 1st but stranded both runners and the Saints left two on as well before a scoreless 2nd saw the teams go to the 3rd with no score.

Colby struck first in the 3rd, using three straight Seward walks and a pair of singles to score four times to jump out to a 4-0 lead.

Seward responded with doubles from Alex White and Brent Williams in the 3rd to get a run back, but the Saints continued to trail 4-1 into the 5th.

The Saints hurt themselves again in the 5th, walking the leadoff hitter and mishandling a ground ball to jump start a three run frame for the Trojans to open up the Colby lead to 7-1.

Just when it looked like the Saints were doomed in the game, they fought back, getting a single up the middle off the bat of Dillon Drury to score two runs in the bottom of the 5th and a pinch hit RBI groundout from Brandon Rix to cut the Trojan lead to 7-4.

Saints reliever Nathan Dockery breezed through the Colby order in the 6th and 7th, picking up four strikeouts in the process to keep it a 7-4 game into Seward’s final at bats.

This time it was Colby’s turn to return some of the Saints generosity back to them as Seward got their first run in the 7th on a hit batter, a walk, and a Colby error to make it a 7-5 game. An RBI single from Antonio Dorado made it a one run game at 7-6 and a five pitch walk put runners on the corners with one out in the inning. With the tying run 90 feet away, Logan Nethercot ripped a single to right to bring the equalizer home and three pitches later Alex White found a hole in the drawn in infield to score pinch runner Trent Mulherin from third to walk it off and win the game for the Saints 8-7.

The Saints outhit Colby 12-6 in the game, but allowed them to hang around with 8 free passes and 3 errors defensively. White was the hero in game three, going 3 for 5 with the game winning RBI while Brandon Urquizo also had 3 hits at the top of the Seward lineup. Dockery was solid in relief of starter Grant Glaze, going 3 innings without allowing an earned run while striking out 4 to earn his first career collegiate victory.

SEWARD COUNTY/COLBY GAME THREE BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2014-15/boxscores/20150404_9h9a.xml>

After losing game two of Jayhawk West doubleheaders on four straight occasions, the Saints were thinking ‘here we go again’ in the second of Saturday’s twinbill as Colby scored six runs in the top half of the 2nd inning, helped greatly by two Seward County errors and two mishandled bunt plays by the Trojans as Colby jumped out to a 6-0 lead.

A Drury leadoff double for Seward in the 2nd led to a run, but they would get just one and remained down big, 6-1 after two innings of play.

In came sidewinder Thomas Garland from the Saints bullpen. Garland faced just one batter over the minimum while blanking Colby through the middle innings, but the Saints offense continued to scuffle with scoring opportunities and the game sailed to the 7th with the score still 6-1 in favor of Colby.

Garland struck out two more in a scoreless top half of the 7th and the Saints finally responded with some offense after stretch time.

Three straight Seward hits to open up the 7th gave the Saints a run and a double play scored another to make it 6-3. With two outs in the inning a bit batter, a walk and a single loaded the bases for Seward and Antonio Dorado came through big with an RBI single to score to and make it a one run game 6-5.

Garland continued to mystify the Trojan bats in the 8th, working a 1-2-3 frame, but the Saints couldn’t take advantage of a Colby error to start the bottom half of the 8th and it remained a 6-5 game in favor of the Trojans into the 9th inning.

Now throwing into a career high seventh inning in the 9th, Garland didn’t slow, in fact he got stronger, needing just seven pitches to retire the Colby side in the top of the 9th to give the Saints a chance to win another game in walk off fashion in the bottom of the inning.

The Colby defense crumbled in the 9th, booting a pair of routine plays to begin the inning, putting Seward runners on first and second with nobody out. The Saints attempted to bunt the runners up 90 feet into scoring position but they didn’t need to as a passed ball off the glove of the Trojan catcher did the job and Colby walked Drury to first to load the bases, still with nobody out. On the next play, the Trojan’s got exactly what they wanted, a ground ball to third base and they threw the tying run out at home plate, but on an attempt for a double play at first, Colby threw wildly and the Saints scored not only the tying run from second base on the error, but also were awarded a second run as the ball went out of play over the fence on the first base side of the field to give the Saints the most unusual of walk off wins 7-6.

Garland was nothing short of spectacular in the victory, throwing a career high 7 innings out of the Saints bullpen, the sophomore allowed just 2 hits while striking out 6 to move to 3-1 on the year. Seward had 11 hits on the offensive end, getting 3 hit games from White and Drury while Dorado drove home a pair of runs in the win.

SEWARD COUNTY/COLBY GAME FOUR BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2014-15/boxscores/20150404_t114.xml>

The only time the Saints led all day long was the split second the games were ended with their walk off wins.

The wins couldn’t have been any bigger for the Saints who improve to 20-18 overall and 11-9 in Jayhawk West Conference play. In another wild stat of the day, Seward is now just one game out of first place in the conference standings, but remains in 5th place on the league ladder. With three conference weekends to go, Garden City, Dodge City, Hutchinson, and Butler all share the Jayhawk West lead, the latter three with 12-8 records and the Busters at 14-10. A disheartened Colby bunch drops to 14-21 overall and 8-16 in Jayhawk West play with the defeats.

Seward will get a midweek non-conference tuneup against Frank Phillips Wednesday in Borger before making the long trip to Concordia to take on Cloud County in a key Jayhawk West series for the Saints Saturday and Sunday.

Roy Allen

 

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