By ALAN HOSKINS, KCKCC
Kansas City Kansas Community College’s winning streak finally came to an end Thursday but not before the Blue Devils had extended it to 14 in a row with an opening 6-5 10-inning win at Independence.
The Pirates, however, rebounded for a 9-2 win in the 7-inning nightcap to set up a pivotal doubleheader at KCKCC Saturday at 2 p.m. The Blue Devils (11-11) trail Independence (13-9) by two games in the race for fifth in the Jayhawk Conference.
“It would be fun to win 15 in a row but you have to play well to do it,” said KCKCC Coach Steve Burleson. “Fortunately, our first game mistakes didn’t extend into extra innings but we played poorly in the second game. If you don’t defend, don’t make pitches and don’t swing the bats in key situations, it’s tough to win and we didn’t.”
Sam Baxter’s third hit of the game, a two-out single in the top of the 10th, lifted the Blue Devils to the 6-5 opening win. Daniel LaMunyon’s double following a leadoff hit batsman set up the winning run.
The Blue Devils took a 3-0 lead in the second inning and extended it to 5-1 in the fifth. A double by Christian Arnold, single by Eric Hinostroza and Tyler Raymond’s sacrifice fly scored one run and Tanner Foerschler doubled in two more in the second.
A single by Baxter, double by Garrett McKinzie, Arnold’s sacrifice fly and Hinostroza’s second hit added the two runs in the fifth.
A faulty KCKCC defense let Indy tie the game in the fifth. With the bases loaded, two throwing errors enabled Indy to score all four runs. Indy’s first run also came after a leadoff error, Geoff Birkemeier worked the first 6.1 innings, allowing six innings and no earned runs before Hunter Phillips got the win, allowing three hits and striking out five in 3.1 innings.
The Blue Devils couldn’t overcome a rash of errors in the nightcap as the Pirates took advantage of three miscues to score four of their nine runs in the third and fourth innings. Ethan Beckett swung the big bat for Indy, rapping out three extra base hits including a two-run home run in a 4-run third and a two-run triple in a 5-run fifth.
Christian Arnold’s belted his team-leading sixth home run of the season in the sixth while Mitch Glessner drove in the other run in the second with one of his three singles. LaMunyon also had two hits and Luke Norton a double against Indy’s Corey Bayles, who struck out five in an 8-hit effort.