LIBERAL, Kan. – The Seward County Community College baseball team used dominant pitching and fundamentals to pull off a sweep of first-place Barton Community College, 2-0 and 4-2, on Thursday at Brent Gould Field.
The Saints improved to 8-6 in conference play and 16-14 overall. Seward is tied for fourth in the Jayhawk West with Butler while Barton is tied Hutchinson for first at 9-5. The teams continue their four-game series at Barton at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Tanner King was dominant, tossing a two-hit, shutout in Seward's game one victory.
King, who improved to 4-2, took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before the Cougars managed to break through. After getting the first batter out and facing the minimum 19 batters into the seventh, Barton scratched out back-to-back singles to threaten, but King got a double play to end the game.
Runs were hard to come by in the game, but Seward manufactured its first run in the second inning. After Benny Ayala walked and KP Werner was hit by a pitch, Owen Martin sacrificed the runners over and Jose Caraballo drove home Ayala with a sacrifice fly.
Seward gave King a little more breathing room when it took a 2-0 lead in the sixth. Cruz Shope led off with a single and moved to second on a bunt by AJ Folds. After a fly out by Cayde Ward, Ayala followed with a double to score Shope with the second run of the game.
The two runs were more than enough for King, who fanned seven and walked one. King was perfect through 4 1/3 innings before walking Carson Zenger, who was erased on the next play through a double play.
Cruz Shope's third homer of the season snapped a 2-2 tie and led Seward to the victory in the nightcap.
With one out in the seventh, Shope drove the first pitch over the right-field wall to give Seward a 3-2 lead. The Saints added an insurance run in the eighth when an error allowed KP Werner score and capped the scoring at 4-2.
The Cougars threatened in the ninth with runners on second and third with two outs before Ryan Thomas struck out the last batter to preserve the victory.
Thomas (2-1) pitched three scoreless innings, allowed three hits, struck out five and walked none to earn the victory. Cole Evans started and had no decision, giving up two runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking one over six innings.
Werner had three hits and Owen Martin and Shop each went 2-for-4 for the Saints.
Seward took a 2-0 lead on a Werner RBI single in the first inning and a Joe Kuhn run-scoring single in the fourth. Barton tied it up with two in the fifth before Shope gave the Saints the lead for good in the seventh.