FORT SCOTT, Kan. – For the first time since 2015, the Seward County Saints will be heading to Wichita to participate in the Region VI Tournament after completing the sweep of Fort Scott on Saturday, defeating the Greyhounds 17-7 one day after beating them 9-1.
Cole Evans got the start on the mound, pitching 3.2 innings. He allowed five runs off six hits before the Saints went to the bullpen. Jordan Pepper (3-0) entered the game in fourth, giving up just two hits and one earned run over 3.1 innings pitched.
Seward used the long ball all afternoon as five different Saints went yard. Cayde Ward led the Saints with five RBI, while Joe Kuhn (4 RBI), Jose Caraballo (3 RBI), Benny Ayala (2 RBI) and Cruz Shope (2RBI) each finished with multiple runs batted in.
The Saints used another strong first inning to jump out to an early lead. The first three batters reached base safely to load the bases for Ward, who barely missed a first inning grand slam as the Greyhounds leaped above the fence to rob the home run, but he still picked up the sacrifice fly. Kuhn kept the scoring going with a single down the left field line to make it 2-0 and put runners on the corners before Caraballo blasted a three run home run over the left field wall.
The Greyhounds jumped back into the game in the bottom of the first. Two solo home runs sandwiched a fly out before scoring a third run off a wild pitch.
Seward increased their lead in the top of the second. After Sackett was hit by a pitch, Ward made sure he didn't have a second home run robbed, rocketing a two-run home run over the left field wall. A Benny Ayala stand up double scored the third run of the inning before RBI singles by Cruz Shope and Brendan Madsen made it 10-3.
Fort Scott led off the second with a triple before scoring with the next batter. Evans limited the Greyhounds to just one run in the inning, however, leaving runners stranded at the corners to end the second inning.
After a scoreless third inning, Ward continued his monster day at the plate by driving in his fourth and fifth runs of the day with a double to left field, barely missing another home run as it hit the wall, putting the Saints up 12-4.
The Greyhounds started the bottom of the fourth with a double and walk, before using two sacrifice hits to score their first run of the game. With two outs, an error by Ayala kept the inning going, before a walk loaded the bases, forcing the Saints to go to the bullpen. Pepper forced a lineout to left field, but Sackett had to make a diving attempt to make the play after misjudging the ball off the bat.
With runners on first and second in the top of the sixth, Kuhn narrowly missed a three-run home run with a foul ball before crushing a home run over the left field wall to make it 15-5. Ayala gave the Saints their fourth home run of the day with a solo shot over the left field fence to score the fourth run of the inning.
The Greyhounds used a two-run home run to start the bottom of the sixth the cut the lead back to single-digits, but could not manage any more as the lead stayed at 16-7.
A leadoff solo shot by Shope put the Saints back on top by ten runs, giving them a chance to end the game from the run rule in the bottom of the seventh. Pepper retired the side in the seventh to give the Saints the run-rule win.
Seward will face Jayhawk West foe Colby on Friday (May 11) at 10:00 a.m. at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita, Kansas. The game can be heard on 1270 AM with Brock Kappelmann (pxp) on the call.