Sunday, May 11, 2014

KCKCC defeats Garden City, could play for championship

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Pounding out 15 hits in a 12-8 win over Garden City, Kansas City Kansas Community College has taken a major step in its bid for its first trip to the NJCAA World Series since 1976.

One of just two unbeaten teams left in the Region VI super-sectional at Wichita’s Lawrence Dumont Stadium, the Blue Devils (38-20) will play the winner of today’s Cowley-Hutchinson game at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

A win would advance KCKCC into a championship game Tuesday at 5 p.m.; a loss would drop the Blue Devils into a loser’s bracket game Monday at 7 p.m.

The Blue Devils, who had knocked off No. 1 seeded and 25th ranked Johnson County 3-2 in the opening round, built a 12-5 lead through eight innings Saturday night before rain forced the game to be stopped and then resumed Sunday morning.

Four Blue Devils had three hits apiece, Tanner Thibodeau, Garrett McKinzie, Daniel LaMunyon and Tanner Foerschler. The 15-hit attack included a triple and double by Luke Norton and a double and 3-run home run by McKinzie. LaMunyon also tripled and Thibodeau doubled and both drove in three runs.

Garden City (37-22) jumped off to a 4-0 lead, scoring three times on a 3-run home run by Rocky Desantis in the first and adding another in the second on Tyler Tucker’s two-out triple before KCKCC southpaw Hunter Phillips (9-6) slammed the door, allowing just one run and five singles while striking out six over the next six innings.

Trailing 4-0, the Blue Devils tied it on the fourth. After a single by Foerschler and double by Norton, Thibodeau singled in a run and McKinzie cleared the bases with a 3-run home run, his eighth of the season. KCKCC then took the lead for good with a 4-run fifth. Norton’s leadoff triple and Thibodeau’s ground ball put KCKCC ahead 5-4 and after a walk and hit batsman, LaMunyon singled in one run, Tyler Raymond scored another on a squeeze bunt and Alex Thrower singled in the fourth run of the inning.

KCKCC added two more in the sixth on a hit batsman, Thiboudeau’s third RBI on a double and singles by McKinzie and LaMunyon. LaMunyon added his third RBI in a 2-run eighth following a double by McKinzie.