By ALAN HOSKINS
KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Swept at Neosho County Thursday, Kansas City Kansas Community College will try to get revenge Sunday when the Blue Devils host Neosho in a 1 p.m. doubleheader.
Blanked 8-0 in the opener, the Blue Devils led 5-4 in the nightcap only to have the Panthers score three times in the bottom of the eighth for a 7-5 9-inning win.
“We just did not play with enough confidence in the second game,” said KCKCC Coach Steve Burleson. “Neosho has a good team, holding us scoreless in the first game.”
KCKCC took a 2-0 first inning lead in the nightcap on a walk and Garrett McKinzie’s two-run home run but Neosho tied the game in the bottom of the inning on a two-run home run by Connor Goedert and went ahead 3-2 in the second against starter Hunter Phillips.
The Blue Devils regained the lead 5-3 in the third, scoring three runs on a double by Luke Norton, a run-scoring single by McKinzie, a double by Daniel Lamunyon, sacrifice fly by Tanner Thibodeau and a two-out single by Sam Baxter.
Preston Bailey came on in relief after Neosho had closed to 5-4 in the fifth and held the Panthers scoreless until the eighth.
Two singles sandwiched around a sacrifice tied it and the Panthers’ Andy Young won it with a two-run line double. Norton, McKinzie and Baxter each had two hits in KCKCC’s 8-hit attack.
The Blue Devils put 10 runners on base in the 7-inning opener but could not break through against Jake Johnson, who scattered five hits over the first six innings.
Norton, Eric Hinostroza, Lamunyon, Thibodeau and Zane Mapes had the Blue Devils hits, all singles. Geoffrey Birkemeier went the distance on the mound, allowing 10 hits and five earned runs.