GREAT BEND, Kan. - The Seward County baseball team (18-20, 6-12) ended a six-game road losing streak to Barton, splitting with the 18th ranked Cougars in Great Bend. The Saints lost game one 6-2, but bounced back to win game two 7-4. This marks the second win over a ranked opponent for the Saints this season, defeating No. 13 Trinidad State earlier in the year.
GAME ONE RECAP
Tanner King (3-3) picked up the start in game one, pitching all six innings in the loss. He gave up six runs off 10 hits while striking out five Cougars along the way.
Seward managed just six hits in the game with Joseph Kuhn and Cayde Ward leading the Saints with two hits a piece. Kuhn and Benny Ayala were the lone Saints to come away with an RBI, each batting in one run.
Cole Bergdall got the game going with a lead off single to right field and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Joseph Kuhn drove in Bergdall with an RBI single to put the Saints on the board first. Dylan Paul reached on an error, advancing Kuhn to third base in the process to set up a sac fly situation for Benny Ayala to make it 2-0 early on.
After a scoreless second inning, Barton put one on the board in the bottom of the third. Harrison Denk reached on an error before Fowler brought him home with a single to right field, cutting the Seward lead to one run.
The Cougars kept it coming in the bottom of the fourth leading off with an error and a single to give Barton some early life. After a double steal, Paul Claassen tripled to center field to give the Cougars a 3-2 lead, one they would not give up.
A three-run fifth inning was the nail in the coffin for the Saints, as the Cougars lead grew to four runs. Another triple by Barton brought home the first score of the inning before a sacrifice fly made it 5-2. With a runner still on after being hit by a pitch, a single to left field was enough to score the final run of the game, with Barton winning 6-2.
GAME TWO RECAP
Cole Evans (5-2) pitched deep into the second game, going seven innings while picking up the win. He gave up on three runs on five hits, while striking out five batters. Brooks Williams came in to relieve Evans in the eight inning walking one batter before hitting another before being pulled and replaced by West Reddell, who finished the game and picked up the save.
After a slow first game, the Seward bats came alive in the second, finishing with 14 hits, including Cruz Shope going 3-for-4. Benny Ayala, Cayde Ward, Brendan Madsen and Dylan Paul each finished with two hits. Paul also led the Saints with three RBI while Shope finished two two.
The game didn't start as planned for the Evans or the Saints, beginning with a walk before the Cougars connected on a RBI double to left field.
The Barton lead was short-lived however, as the Saints put three on the board in the top of the second off back-to-back home runs. Ward hit a double to give the Saints a base runner before Cruz Shope connected on a ball to send it over the left field wall. Ayala followed up with a dinger of his own, again, over the left field wall.
From there Evans locked in, giving up just one hit over the next five innings before the Saints got some insurance runs in the top of the seventh. After a leadoff single, Dylan Paul brought home Jordan Kennedy with his fourth home run of the season, going over the 400-foot center field wall to make the game 5-1.