Hutchinson CC Sports Information
WICHITA – The Hutchinson Community College baseball team suffered through another first-inning nightmare in the NJCAA Central District Tournament on Friday against Cloud County.
After Cloud County scored eight runs in the top of the first, the Blue Dragons stared into the abyss of the 2019 season coming to an end.
But the Blue Dragons chipped away and staved off elimination and defeated Cloud County 14-12 on Logan Sartori's two-run walk-off home run that landed on the north curb of 21st street outside of Eck Stadium.
The 42-20 Blue Dragons remained alive in the tournament and advanced to play Barton in elimination later on Friday. Cloud County ends its season at 34-24.
The Blue Dragons dropped to the elimination bracket on Thursday after Colby scored six runs in the top of the first. The Dragons got back within one run of the Trojans, but couldn't complete the comeback in a 12-8 loss.
Things looked bleak after the top of the first Saturday as Cloud County sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the first and scored eight runs on seven hits. And just like the Colby game, the Blue Dragons immediately started to chip away at the large deficit. The Dragons scored seven unanswered runs over the next three innings to pull within 8-7.
Cloud County scored the next three runs and led 11-8 after five innings.
The second stage of the comeback started in the seventh when Max McGuire hit a two-run home run in the seventh to pull within 11-10. Cloud County scratched out a run against Miguel Reyes, who entered the game in the sixth, for a two-run lead.
Reyes struck out two in a 1-2-3 top of the ninth. The bottom of the ninth started with pinch-hitters Brian Skillman battling back from a 1-2 count to draw a leadoff walk. Then Sartori launched a 1-1 pitch over the left-field scoreboard and across 21st street for Hutchinson's fifth walk-off victory of the season.
Reyes (4-3), pitching in relief for the first time this season, worked the final four innings. He struck out seven and allowed just two hits and one run with one walk for the pitching victory.
Nedved started and lasted just 2-3 of an inning. Ryan Summers kept the Dragons in the game with 4 1-3 innings. He allowed six hits and three runs with three strikeouts.
The Blue Dragons hit three home runs in the game. Schmidt hit his league-leading 21st homer with a three-run shot in the bottom of the first to begin the Dragon comeback. The Dragons added five doubles.
The top six batters in the Hutch order combined for 15 hits, 11 runs and 10 runs batted in.
Sartori finished 3 for 6 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Nedved was 3 for 4 with a double, two runs and an RBI. Schmidt went 3 for 5 with two runs and three RBIs.
Ryan Moritz was 2 for 5 with two doubles and three RBIs. Zion Bowlin had a double in a 2-for-3 performance. Bowlin had a stolen base and scored three runs. McGuire had a sacrifice fly and his two-run homer to drive in three runs.