HUTCHINSON, Kan. – The Seward County Community College split a doubleheader with Hutchinson Community College, winning the opener in extra innings, 7-0, but losing the nightcap, 4-3. The Saints are 16-10 in the Jayhawk West and 25-19 overall.
The teams play again in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Brent Gould Field.
Tanner King pitched eight shutout innings and the Saints scored seven times in the ninth inning to win in extra innings in the opener.
King scattered three hits, struck out 10 and walked two in winning for the fourth time in five starts. He improved to 4-1 and has not lost since March 15 against Cloud County.
It was a good thing that King pitched as well as he did because the Saints offense could do nothing against Hutchinson pitching for the first eight innings.
Hutchinson starter Jake Bunz was equally as impressive as King, allowing just three hits, striking out eight and walking two over seven scoreless innings.
Seward finally broke through in the ninth. Cayde Ward led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. After Benny Ayala lined out to center, the rains came and the game was delayed for about an hour.
When the game resumed, Jose Caraballo drove in the first run of the game with a single, scoring Jordan Kennedy, who pinch ran for Ward. Zane Alexander reached second on an error and Caraballo scored the second run of the inning.
After a ground out by Ben Tsui, Joe Kuhn walked and Braxton Allen followed with an RBI single, scoring Alexander and moving Kuhn to third. A single by Cruz Shope loaded the bases and KP Werner cleared the bases with a three-run double to give Seward a 6-0 lead. Kennedy capped with a run-scoring double.
Ryan Thomas relieved King and sealed the game by setting the Blue Dragons down in order.
Seward showed resilience and rallied in the nightcap, but came up short in the loss.
The Saints took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning on a defensive lapse by Hutchinson. With one out, Kasson Haggard singled and advanced to second on a ground out. While KP Werner drew ball four, the Hutchinson catcher snapped a throw to second, but no one covered the base and Haggard scored.
The Blue Dragons scored a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Seward answered back in the top of the fifth to tie it when Joe Kuhn was hit by a pitch to force in a run.
Hutchinson took the lead again with a run in the bottom of the fifth, but Seward again tied it up at 3-3 with a run in the top of the sixth on a Kuhn RBI single.
The score remained deadlocked until the bottom of the seventh when Hutchinson won it on a walk-off single by Riley Metzger.
The teams only played seven innings in the second game because the first game went into extra innings.
Cayde Ward, Haggard and Kuhn had the only hits for Seward.
Cole Evans started for the Saints, allowing three runs on six hits, struck out seven, walked two and hit two batters over 5 1/3 innings for a no-decision.
Braedon Gould (2-5) took the loss, yielding an unearned run on two hits, struck out one and walked none in one inning of work.