BLUE DRAGON BASEBALL
Hutchinson (39-21) vs. Barton (44-13)
When: Monday, May 14, 2018
Where: Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, Wichita
When: 4 p.m.
Videostream: Blue Dragon Sports Network, 3:50 p.m.
Hutchinson CC Sports Information
WICHITA – Trailing Johnson County 9-2 after four innings Sunday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, the Hutchinson Community College baseball team pulled off the great escape to keep its season alive.
The Blue Dragons scored 10 unanswered runs from the fourth through eighth innings to take a three-run lead after 7 1/2 innings and then had to survive a heart-stopping ninth as Julian Rip chased down a long Chaz Burgess drive to right center field with the bases loaded and the tying run at third to finish off a thrilling 12-11 victory in Region VI/Central District Tournament elimination game on Sunday night.
Hutchinson had to win two games on Thursday to keep its season live, defeating Seward County 12-8 in the first of four games played in the tournament on Sunday. Johnson County eliminated Kansas City earlier on Sunday.
Now the Blue Dragons (39-21) will face Jayhawk West champion Barton in Monday's 4 p.m. loser's bracket final. The winner of that game will have to defeat Cowley twice. The first of possibly two championship games is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
The Blue Dragons are now 5-0 in elimination games in the 2018 postseason.
The Dragons started to chip away with a Ryan Moritz RBI triple and a Logan Sartori sacrifice fly in the fifth to make it 9-4. With the bases loaded in the sixth, Rip hit a three-run triple to cut the Cavalier lead to 9-7. Divis had an RBI single in the seventh to cut the deficit to one.
Scott Wolverton, who earlier on Sunday had two doubles and a triple against Seward County, led off the eighth with a game-tying home run, hit just inside the left-field foul pole. The Dragons then created some two-out magic in the eighth. After a Sartori single, an intentional walk to Divis and another walk to Morgensen loaded the bases, Dylan Nedved coaxed a third-straight walk to force Sartori home for a 10-9 Hutch lead. Zach Baxley's lone hit of the game came at a perfect time as he squeezed a groundball single up the middle to score two runs and give Hutch a 12-9 lead.
Nedved, who threw three scoreless innings in the fifth, sixth and seventh, gave up an eighth-inning run with a single and Jacob Owens RBI double. The Blue Dragons then brought in Dayden Lane, who retired the next three batters to get out of the eighth with Hutch leading 12-10.
The Cavaliers got an RBI single from Ty Herrenbruck with one out in the ninth to cut the Hutch lead to 12-11. The Cavaliers loaded the bases with two out before Rip's long run and catch at the warning track in right-center field ended the game with the tying and winning runs both in scoring position.
Nedved (5-1) earned the victory on the mound, with his bases-loaded walk in the eighth serving as the game-winning RBI. Nedved worked 3 2-3 innings of relief with eight hits and two runs allowed, but his scoreless fifth, sixth and seventh innings were critical to the Hutch comeback.
Lane earned his fifth save of the season and 12th career save with two innings of work. He allowed three hits and one unearned run with one strikeout and one walk. Forced to hit in the top of the ninth because earlier substitutions burned the Dragon designated hitter, Lane's first career Blue Dragon at-bat resulted in an infield single.
Eight different Blue Dragons had at least one RBI against Johnson County. Rip was 2 for 5 with a triple and three RBIs. Divis hit his 16th home run in the first and finished 2 for 4 with a pair of runs and two RBIs. Divis is now fifth in career home runs with 26.
Baxley extended his hitting streak to eight games going 1 for 3 with two RBIs. Sartori went 2 for 5 with an RBI. Morgensen homered in the fourth and scored three runs going 1 for 2 with a walk and two hit-by-pitches.
The Blue Dragons were out-hit by Johnson County19-12.