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Two Way Stars Steal Show for Saints at Butler

KSCB News - April 17, 2016 10:13 am

The Seward County Saints and Butler Grizzlies split another Jayhawk West Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at McDonald Stadium in El Dorado with the Grizzlies coming from behind late in game three for a 4-3 walk off win and the Saints getting an unexpected complete game win on the mound from third baseman turned pitcher Nic Ricigliano and four RBI’s from game three pitcher Jared Biddy for a 7-1 victory in the series finale to split the four game series.

The Grizzlies were first to get on the board in game three of the series as Butler picked up a pair of two out hits in the bottom half of the 2nd to take an early 1-0 lead on Seward.

A leadoff double for Butler in the 3rd allowed the Grizzlies to get something going once again and after a groundout to move the runner to third and one to push him home, it was 2-0 Butler after three.

The Saints cracked the scoreboard for the first time in the top half of the 4th when Judah Sweat tripled with one out and trotted home on an RBI single from Chad Kennedy to cut the Grizzly lead in half at 2-1.

Saints starter Jared Biddy kept the Grizzlies in check in the 4th and 5th innings, allowing Seward to tie the game up in the top half of the 6th on a solo shot from Logan Nethercot over the center field wall to make it 2-2.

Seward took their first lead of the day at the most opportune time, getting another two out RBI, this time from Nethercot to put them in front 3-2.

Needing just three outs to close out the win, the Saints ran into some trouble in the bottom half of the 7th as the Grizzlies loaded the bases with just one out, putting the tying run at third and the game winning run in scoring position at second. Biddy got a humpback liner on the infield to second which looked like the second out of the inning, but the ball was mishandled and chaos ensued. The Saints threw the ball to second, recording the second out of the inning, but with the runner from third breaking home, Seward decided to go after the runner heading from second to third and in the process of a run down there, the runner on third scored to tie the game and send the contest to extra innings.

The Saints put up nothing as far as a threat in the top of the 8th, going down in order to give the Grizzlies a chance to win it in the bottom half.

After watching his bullpen melt down yet again in Friday’s game two loss, Saints Head Coach Galen McSpadden decided to stay with Biddy in the 8th in game three in the 3-3 contest. Butler led off the 8th with a single and picked up a one out knock to put runners on first and second. Pinch hitting with the game on the line, Butler’s John Gardner lined a single to right, bringing the runner from second home to give the Grizzlies a 4-3 walkoff win.

Nethercot continued a big series with two hits including a home run to go along with two RBI’s in the loss for Seward. Sweat and Cody Stineman also had two hits apiece for the Saints. Biddy went the distance, but took the loss, allowing 10 Butler hits and four Grizzly runs while striking out five, falling to 5-1 on the year.

SEWARD COUNTY/BUTLER GAME THREE BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2015-16/boxscores/20160416_l1rw.xml>

Having given up 67 runs in their first five Jayhawk West series finales this season, McSpadden decided to pull a rabbit out of a hat in game four Saturday, giving the ball to third baseman turned pitcher Nic Ricigliano for his first career start on the mound.

Ricigliano was good early on, keeping the Grizzlies without a run through the first three innings, allowing just one runner to get into scoring position. Unfortunately, the Saints couldn’t get anything going on offense either, failing to push anything across through three to keep it a scoreless contest in to the 4th.

Both teams threatened in the 4th, but a strikeout ended the Saints threat and a double play off the Grizzlies bat ended theirs to keep it a 0-0 game after four.

The Saints broke through in a big way in the top of the 5th as Antonio Dorado led off the Saints half of the frame with a double and Easton Herring singled behind him to put two on with nobody out. That’s when game three starting pitcher Jared Biddy got a chance to take out some of his frustration with a bat in his hand, crushing a no doubt three run home run over the left field wall to break the scoreless tie and give the Saints a 3-0 lead. The Saints weren’t done yet though as with two outs in the inning, Nethercot and Sweat doubled back to back to plate another run to give Seward a 4-0 advantage midway through.

Butler finally got something going against Ricigliano in the bottom half of the inning, collecting three hits, but Ricigliano held the Grizzlies to just one run, keeping the Saints in front 4-1 after five.

The Saints put together some two out magic again in the 6th, benefitting from a walk and then a Biddy double to push their lead back to four at 5-1.

Butler got their leadoff man on for the fourth time in the game to start the 6th, but Ricigliano picked up back to back strikeouts and then a pop up on the infield to end the threat and keep the Saints in front 5-1.

A pair of walks and a big Butler error allowed the Saints to score two insurance runs in the 7th to take a 7-1 lead, but Ricigliano wouldn’t need them, finishing the game off in the bottom of the inning without allowing anything across for the Grizzlies to give the Saints a 7-1 win to split the series.

Ricigliano, who hadn’t gone more than 3 1/3 innings in any outing in his Seward career, went the distance in this one, allowing just six Butler hits and one Grizzly run to earn the win in his first career start. Biddy gave Ricigliano all the run support he needed, going 2 for 4 with a home run, a double, and four RBI’s in the victory.

SEWARD COUNTY/BUTLER GAME FOUR BOX SCORE <http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2015-16/boxscores/20160416_rfbg.xml>

The Saints remain in a 4th place tie with Dodge City at day’s end, sitting at 25-20 overall and 14-10 in league play. Butler sits in 8th place with two series left to go as they are now 19-26 overall and 8-16 in Jayhawk West play.

Seward returns home on Wednesday for a non-conference tilt with Clarendon before getting back into Jayhawk West action against a struggling Barton club next weekend at Brent Gould Field in Liberal.

 

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