LIBERAL, Kan. – The Seward County baseball team (16-16, 4-8 KJCCC) couldn't keep up with the bats of Cloud County Saturday, losing game one 13-1 from the run rule before dropping game two 11-10. Seward went 1-3 against the T-Birds this week, marking the first time in program history that the Saints have lost a four-game series against Cloud County.
GAME ONE RECAP
Ryan Thomas (2-3) started on the mound for the Saints, pitching 3.1 innings. He gave up eight runs on nine hits before Jacob Nielsen (1.0 IP) and Braeden Gould (0.2 IP) came in for relief. Nielsen gave up five runs on three hits, while Gould was perfect 0.2 innings.
The Saints mustered just three hits against Austen Seidel, with Spencer Sackett accounting for the lone RBI.
Cloud jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning. A single and walk started the inning, while Erik Sabrowski knocked one in with a single. Doubles by Dario DeSantis and Tauren Langley scored two more runs in the inning.
Neither team could get a run in the second inning, but the teams matched each other in the third. The T-Birds got their run from an error following a single by Ryan Krolikowski, while the Saints got their lone run of the day with a sac fly from Sackett.
The T-Birds put four more on the board in the fourth. Three singles loaded the bases to start the fourth. A throwing error on the next at-bat by Jose Caraballo scored two runs to make it 6-1. Matt Bondarchuk grounded out to second base, but scored another run before Sabrowski hit a single down the left side to bring the game to 8-1.
Cloud made sure to end the game in the fifth, scoring five runs. Two errors sandwiched a double to push two more across the board, making it 10-1. Bondarchu put the T-Birds up double-digits with a single to third base before Sabrowski crushed a two-run home run to make it 13-1, ending the game from mercy-rule.
GAME TWO RECAP
Jordan Pepper (1-1) started game two, giving up seven runs off 10 hits in 4.2 innings pitched. Brayden Conner (2.1 IP), Braeden Gould (1.0 IP) and Hunter Ratcliffe (1.0 IP) came in for relief with Ratcliffe being the lone pitcher to not give up a run.
The T-Birds jumped out on top first with a two-run single up the middle by DeSantis. Cloud put two more on the board in the third with a double and single to right field to make it 4-0.
A four-run fifth inning by the T-Birds made it appear to be another mercy-rule game in the making. DeSantis brought home the first run with a single to right field before Aiden Huggins hit a three-run blast to left field to make it 8-0 before the Saints ever got on the board.
Seward exploded on offense in the bottom of the fifth with a seven-run inning to cut the deficit to just one run. Sackett scored the first two runs with a single through the left side of the infield, scoring Caraballo, who reached on a leadoff double. Paul brought home Madsen with a single to right field to make it 8-2.
Following two strikeouts, Nielsen ripped a three-run home run to left field to make it 8-5. A single by Cole Bergdall and a walk by Benny Ayala allowed Caraballo to bring home two more runs with a single to left field. Two walks later, Paul stepped up the plate with the bases loaded, but grounded out to second base, which would end up being the biggest play of the game.
The teams matched each other in the eighth inning, each scoring three runs. A single to right center by Ryan Simons scored two runs for the T-Birds before Bondarchu grounded out to first base to score the third run, making it 11-7.
A walk and a double put runner on the corners for the Saints in the bottom of the eighth. Nielsen singled up the middle to score one run and keep runners at the corners. Singles by Bergdall and Ayala scored two more runs to make it 11-10 heading in the final inning of play.
The Saints kept the T-Birds off the scoreboard in the top of the ninth and looked to be set up for a rally. Following a Madsen groundout, Sackett and Paul reached base from a walk and a single to give the Saints some life. With the tying run in scoring position, two straight fly outs ended the game, preventing the comeback.
Seward will be back at Brent Gould Field on Thursday at 1:00 when they host the Butler Grizzlies for a Jayhawk League doubleheader.