Monday, March 18, 2013

Big turnout as Blue Devils open new field with a win


Other than a second game loss, Kansas City Kansas Community College’s new baseball complex passed its opening test with flying colors Saturday.

Despite 40 degree temperatures on a gray, cloudy day, upwards of 100 fans turned out to see the Blue Devils defeat Neosho County 5-3 in the opening game. Neosho, however, bounced back to take the nightcap 10-1. Rain Sunday wiped out a scheduled second doubleheader, a twin bill that will be made up today.

“I was impressed,” Coach Steve Burleson said of the opening. “We had a lot of people here who seemed excited about our facility. I know our players were proud to be playing on a quality facility in front of a big crowd.”

Sophomore Zac Butler scattered eight hits, walking none and striking out three in a complete game win in the opener.

Neosho took a 1-0 lead in the first on a single, double and sacrifice fly but the Blue Devils bounced back to take a 3-1 lead in the second. After a single by Garrett McKinzie and a dropped throw at second base, Landon Teal dropped down a well-executed two-out bunt that was thrown away, allowing two runs to score and Teal scored on a solid single by Lucas Norton.

The Tigers cut the deficit to 3-2 in the third, scoring on three singles before the Blue Devils scored the decisive two runs in the fifth. Dean Long and Pancho Amaya started the inning with singles, moved up a base on McKinzie’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Andrew Kreiling’s two-run single.

The Blue Devils played generous hosts in the nightcap. Neosho took a 1-0 lead in the first on a hit batsman and a pair of singles and then added six more runs in the second on just one hit as the Tigers took advantage of three errors and four walks issued by starter Matt Dye.

Neosho added three more runs in the seventh on three hits and an error against reliever Cisco Medina.

KCKCC’s lone run came in the fourth on singles by Jacob Woods, Amaya and McKinzie. The Blue Devils were limited to seven hits, two by Kreiling.

Top: 11 baseballs filled the air as members of the Board of Trustees and representatives of firms constructing KCKCC’s new athletic complex threw out the ceremonial first pitches to officially open the new baseball field Saturday. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)

Right: Sophomore Zac Butler threw the first pitch to open KCKCC’s new baseball field and then went on to scatter eight hits in a complete game 5-3 win over Neosho County Saturday. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)