BLUE DRAGON BASEBALL
Hutchinson (41-20) vs. Cloud County (34-23)
Hutchinson CC Sports Information
WICHITA – The Hutchinson Community College baseball team was swept away by a huge wave of Colby momentum on Thursday at the NJCAA Central District Tournament at Eck Stadium.
Colby was riding that wave after a late-night come-from-behind victory over Johnson County in the opening round on Wednesday. On Thursday, Colby rode that wave to a six-run first inning and ultimately pushed the Blue Dragons to the brink of elimination with a 12-8 winner's bracket semifinal victory over Hutchinson.
The Blue Dragons (41-20) will look to stay alive with a 1 p.m. elimination game showdown against Cloud County on Friday. If Hutchinson wins that game, the Blue Dragons would play again at 7 p.m. against the Barton-Johnson County winner.
Colby's Jacob Bouzite hit home run to start the game. Later in the first, Tyler McWillie launched a three-run homer with two out to give the Trojans a 6-0 lead before the Blue Dragons ever stepped to the plate.
Hutchinson chipped away over the next four innings.
Logan Sartori tripled to open the bottom of the first and scored on a Zane Schmidt groundout. That triple was Sartori's 10th career triple and tied Quinton Crandall's Blue Dragon career record. The Dragons cut the lead to 6-2 in the second when Zion Bowling scored on Max McGuire's sacrifice fly.
McGuire doubled down the left-field line in the fourth to score Ryan Moritz. Then two runs scored on a Colby throwing error in the save inning to pull the Blue Dragons within 6-5.
The Trojans broke the game open with three runs each in both the seventh and eighth innings to take a 12-5 lead.
Hutch tried one more comeback. Sartori hit a two-run home run and Dylan Nedved cracked a solo homer immediately after that for a three-run eighth to pull within 12-8, but that was as close as Hutch got, going in order in the ninth.
Each team had nine hits in the game with each team hitting two home runs apiece.
Six Dragon pitchers couldn't hold down Colby. L.J. McDonough (1-4) drew the start and took the loss going just two-thirds of an inning.
Riley Metzger went 3 for 5 with a pair of doubles to lead Hutchinson offensively. Sartori was 2 for 5 with two runs and two RBIs. McGuire was 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly and two RBIs.
Already this season, the Blue Dragons are 2-0 in elimination games, rallying with two straight wins over Labette in the Region VI opening-round series last week at Hobart-Detter Field after the Cardinals took the series opener.