Moving past Johnson County into third place Wednesday, the Blue Devils of Kansas City Kansas Community College get a chance to climb even further this weekend when they play host to second place Coffeyville in a four-game set Saturday and Sunday.
The Blue Devils used route-going pitching performances by Zac Butler and Derrick Winter for 1-0 and 3-2 wins at Johnson County to climb to 10-8 in Jayhawk play and 16-11 overall. The two teams will meet again next Wednesday at JCCC at 3 p.m.
Butler did not allow a runner past second base in running his record to 5-1 in the opener. Scoreless through five innings, the Blue Devils scored the game’s only run in the sixth inning when Lucas Norton led off with a single, took second on Andrew Kreiling’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Dean Long’s single.
Once ahead, Butler retired the last six Cavaliers in order as he finished with a five-hitter, walking one and striking out five.
The nightcap went right down to the final out when KCKCC second baseman Jacob Woods tagged out Aaron Schnurbusch, who had overslid the base, as the tying run neared home plate. The win was the fourth in five starts for Winter, who allowed five hits, walking two and striking out five.
The Blue Devils jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first, loading the bases on a double by Woods sandwiched between a pair of hit batsman. Infield ground balls by Pancho Amaya and Garrett McKinzie drove in the runs. KCKCC made it 3-0 in the third on a double by Kreiling and a single by Long. The Blue Devils finished with seven hits including a triple and single by Trent Sullivan and a triple by Woods.
JCCC got a run in the third on three singles and added another with two out in the seventh on a walk and two singles before the dramatic out at second to end it.