Wichita – The heroics ran out on Kansas City Kansas Community College in its bid for a Super Regional championship and a berth in the NJCAA World Series here late Sunday night.
After overcoming a 4-1 deficit for a 5-4 10-inning win over Colby earlier in the day, the Blue Devils rallied from being down 6-2 before dropping a frustrating 11-inning 7-6 decision to Seward County, a team they had beaten 2-1 in the opening round. The loss ended the KCKCC season at 36-22.
Errorless through 10 innings against Seward County, two errors to start the 11th inning set up Seward’s game-winning run. After an infield miscue, the Blue Devils botched a sacrifice bunt to put runners on first and second. Both moved up on a bunt and after an intentional walk loaded the bases, Jacob Woods got Deven Nelson on a fly ball to center for the second out only to have Reed Marshall single to center for the win.
Seward had built a 6-2 lead by scoring two runs each in the first, third and fifth innings before KCKCC got five scoreless innings from reliever Cisco Medina. The Blue Devils got three runs back in the sixth. After a one-out walk, Andrew Kreiling and Dean Long lashed back-to-back triples and Garrett McKinzie’s ground ball scored Long to cut the lead to 6-5.
KCKCC then tied it in the eighth on a pair of walks and McKinzie’s two-out single to left. The Blue Devils had taken a 1-0 lead in the first, scoring on two walks, two hit batsman and an error but left the bases load and then added another in the fourth on a two-out single by Long, stolen base and throwing error. Long, Kreiling and Trent Sullivan each had two hits in the Blue Devils’ 8-hit attack.
Facing elimination Sunday morning, KCKCC spotted Colby a 4-1 lead over five innings before Medina, Matt Dye and Woods combined for five scoreless innings while the Blue Devils scored a run each in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings and then won it in the 10th. Dye got the win and Woods the save, getting two fly balls and a strikeout after a leadoff single and a walk.
Long started the comeback in the sixth, scoring on Poncho Amaya’s single after leading off with a hit and stealing second. Kreiling doubled in the Blue Devils’ run in the seventh after a hit batsman and sacrifice and KCKCC tied it in the eighth when Amaya doubled with one out and scored on Caleb Waddell’s single. It was Amaya’s third hit of the game.
Woods’ single ignited the game-winning rally in the top of the 10th. Advancing to second on Amaya’s bunt, Woods took third on a ground ball and scored on a wild pitch. It was the second KCKCC run to score on a wild pitch, Sullivan crossing for KCKCC’s first run in the fifth after a leadoff double and Landon Teal’s bunt.
Neosho County pushed the Blue Devils into the loser’s bracket Saturday, giving up just five hits in a 5-0 whitewashing. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a pair of singles sandwiched around a bunt and then put the game out of reach with three runs in the seventh against Derrick Winter. Hitting into two double plays, the Blue Devils left only five on base.
Zac Butler (10-1) retired the first 16 batters, retired the side in order in seven of nine innings and allowed just three hits in KCKCC’s opening 2-1 win over Seward. KCKCC took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a triple by Long and a single by Amaya and then broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh on a two-base error, a single by Sullivan and Lucas Norton’s squeeze bunt.
Neosho (34-24) remains the only unbeaten team in the field after a 2-1 win over Coffeyville (31-24) Sunday. Neosho will play the winner of today’s 4 p.m. Seward-Coffeyville elimination game at 7 p.m. with a final game if necessary Tuesday. Cowley (45-10), the runaway Jayhawk East champion and ranked No. 2 nationally, defeated Colby 7-3 in the opening round but was eliminated by back-to-back losses to Coffeyville 4-0 and Seward 8-7.