The Seward County Saints narrowly missed a key Jayhawk West Conference sweep on Saturday at Brent Gould Field in Liberal as they knocked off defending Conference Champs Colby 6-4 in game one before dropping a 13 inning heartbreaker in game two 9-6 to settle for a split on day one of the series .
In game one of the series it was the Saints taking an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st as Addison Kaasch singled up the middle to score Brendan Madsen to put Seward on top by one after one.
Colby got on the board for the first time in the 3rd inning, pushing three runs across with two outs in the frame to turn a 1-0 Seward lead into a 3-1 Trojan lead in the blink of an eye.
Seward starter Jared Biddy pitched his way out of a huge jam in the 4th, striking out two with the bases loaded to keep the Trojans off the board and the Saints to within a pair at 3-1.
The Saints got some two out magic going in the bottom of the 4th, getting an RBI triple from Tim Fitzgerald and an RBI single from Errett Edwards behind that to tie the score at three.
Biddy stranded two more in scoring position to end the 5th and the Saints again rewarded their righthander, as Law Greiner lifted a sac fly to put Seward in front in the bottom of the frame and Fitzgerald came up with another big two out hit to add an insurance run and give the Saints a 5-3 lead.
West Reddell came out of the Seward bullpen to toss a scoreless 6th and the Saints plated another run in the bottom of the inning to make it 6-3.
Colby loaded the bases with nobody out in their final at bats in the 7th and looked like they would tie the game with a bullet to the right center field gap, but again, the man of the day, Fitzgerald made a spectacular game saving catch to allow just one run to score and Reddell retired the final two hitters he faced to finish off a 6-4 win for Seward.
Seward outhit Colby 11-7 in the win, getting four hits out of the leadoff spot, two from Madsen who left with an injury midway through the contest and two from Fitzgerald who also had two RBI’s. Biddy earned his third win of the year, pitching through five while allowing five hits and three runs and striking out six. Reddell earned his second save of the year, pitching the final two innings while allowing just one run.
SEWARD COUNTY/COLBY GAME ONE BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2016-17/boxscores/20170325_50zx.xml>
A two out Seward error in the 1st allowed Colby to get on the board first in game two as the Trojans took a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the frame.
Colby returned the favor, handing Seward an unearned run of their own in the bottom of the inning to even the score up at one.
A triple and sac fly for the Trojans in the 2nd put Colby in front 2-1 and Colby added two more in the 3rd to make it a 4-1 game.
Another Fitzgerald triple followed by an RBI double from Kaasch got the Saints back to within two in the 3rd at 4-2 which is where it remained as the two teams took the field in the 6th.
Colby extended their lead to 5-2 in the 6th with the third triple of the game, but the Saints came roaring back in the bottom of the inning, scoring three times without a single hit to knot the score at 5-5.
Both sides were quiet in the 7th and 8th, sending the game to the 9th still tied at 5.
Colby put one on in the top of the 9th, but couldn’t push anything across and Seward went down in order to send the game to extra innings with the two sides deadlocked at 5.
The Trojans used a walk and a hit batter to threaten in the 10th, but Seward reliever Jordan Pepper worked out of trouble to keep things tied, but again, the Saints couldn’t score either as it remained a 5-5 game after 10.
Pepper induced a double play in the Colby 11th to give Seward another chance at a walkoff, but again, the Saints went down 1-2-3 in the bottom half to push the game to the 12th.
A one out double by Colby in the 12th broke a long scoreless drought for both sides as the Trojans took a 6-5 lead on Seward.
The Saints scored the equalizer in the 12th without hitting the ball out of the infield as they used a walk, a pair of Colby errors, and a passed ball to tie the score at 6. It looked like Seward would have a chance to walk the Trojans off later in the inning as they had a runner at second with nobody out, but they were never able to move the runner up from there as they stranded the game winning duck on the pond to keep things tied at 6 after 12.
Seward paid for the missed opportunity in the 13th as Colby played small ball to push the go ahead run across and then used a longball, in the form of a two run home run to open up their lead to 9-6.
After battling hard for 12 innings, Seward was out of fight in the 13th as they struck out twice and fouled out to first base to finish things off as Colby hung on for a big 9-6 momentum win in game two of the series.
Colby outhit Seward 12-6 in the game while both sides were sloppy on defense with a combined nine errors. Kaasch had three of the Saints six hits in the loss while also driving home a run. Jonathan Castillo put together quite an effort on the hill for Seward, throwing 132 pitches in 8 innings of work, yielding six hits and three earned runs while fanning a career high 10 in a no decision. Pepper took the loss to fall to 0-4 on the year, allowing five hits and three runs in 4 1/3 innings of action.
SEWARD COUNTY/COLBY GAME TWO BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2016-17/boxscores/20170325_nfe7.xml>
The Saints move to 10-19 overall with the split while watching their Jayhawk West record move to 3-7. Colby goes to 17-14 on the year while working to 9-5 in league action.
The Saints and Trojans will be back at it Sunday afternoon at Brent Gould Field, finishing off the four game series with a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 and airing on 1270 and kscbnews.net.