Seward County Community College came away with a 10-9 victory in 10 innings over Hutchinson Community College in the final game of the four-game conference series on Sunday afternoon at Hobart-Detter Field in Hutchinson. After being shutout 5-0 in game one on Sunday, the Saints held off the Blue Dragons as Mikel Huston drove in Trent Martinez for the game-winning run in the top of the 10th inning to remain one game ahead of Hutchinson for first place in the Jayhawk Western Division. The Saints (32-16, 22-6) will close Jayhawk West Conference play next weekend hosting eighth-place Pratt Community College (16-28, 9-19) for a four-game series at Brent Gould Field. Second-place Hutchinson (32-13, 21-7) will travel to play fourth-place Colby Community College (24-22, 14-14) in its final conference series next weekend.

In game two, Martinez went 3-for-5 with a double and four RBI to lead the Saints. Seward County put up four runs in the top of the second inning on a bases-clearing double from sophomore third baseman Austin Roff. Hutchinson remained persistent offensively scoring a run in the third, and two runs apiece in the fourth and fifth innings to take the lead, 5-4.

The Saints knocked out HCC starter Tim Statz after five innings, and then scored five runs on Blue Dragon relievers Kyle Rosine and Ryan Scoles.

Seward County’s scoring in the sixth came off two big hits from Martinez and sophomore David Masters. Martinez drove in two runs with a double to left field to give the Saints the lead back, 6-5. Saints’ head coach Galen McSpadden then made a timely move off the bench pinch hitting Masters in the eight-hole for catcher Brock Gifford. Masters followed with a two-run homer to center field to put the Saints up 8-5.

Hutchinson tacked on a run in the bottom of the sixth, and Seward added a run on another Martinez RBI in the top of the seventh to take a 9-6 lead.

Saints’ freshman right-handed pitcher Corey Collins was on in relief of SCCC pitchers Austin Terhune (3.2 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 4 SO) and Jordan McClintick (2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R) to start the seventh inning. Collins was unable to record an out before he had to face HCC leading hitter Stewart Hoover with two runners on base in the bottom of the seventh. Hoover, who is batting .480 this season, tied the game 9-9 with a line-drive home run to center field to send the game into extra innings.

Hutchinson was then blanked in the final three frames as freshman right-handed pitcher Bobby Doran earned his third victory of the season for the Saints. The Flower Mound, Texas, native worked his way out of several jams, which included a bases-loaded situation in the ninth inning with one out, when HCC second baseman Chris Marquez popped-up a suicide squeeze that ended with a double play to end the inning. Hutchinson stranded a total of 17 runners on base in game two.

The Saints finished off the Dragons as Huston drove a double to the right-field fence to score Martinez, who singled to lead off the 10th, giving the Saints the series split.

Sophomore Erik Hansen went 2-for-5, Roff finished with three RBI, and Keegan Morrow went 2-for-5 from the lead-off spot.

Doran pitched 2.1 innings in relief, where he didn’t allow a base hit and walked three batters (two intentional) with three strikeouts.

Game one on Sunday featured the Blue Dragons shutting out the Saints for the second straight game with a seven-inning complete-game performance from sophomore Ben Graham. The Saints actually outhit the Dragons, 6-4, but HCC capitalized on a five-run fifth inning that saw four Dragons cross home plate that were either hit by the pitch or walked in the inning.

Morrow led the Saints offensively going 2-for-4. Sophomore righty Tyler Binkley suffered his third loss of the season pitching 4.2 inning, allowing four hits, five runs and two walks with four strikeouts.

Seward County will finish its regular season with a six-game home stand starting Wednesday, April 23, against Clarendon College with a 4 p.m. first pitch at Brent Gould Field. The Saints will be in search of securing their 12th Jayhawk West Conference title as next weekend they host Pratt C.C. for a four-game conference series.

If the Saints win three games against Pratt they can clinch at least a share of the conference championship, and with a sweep over the Beavers the Saints can wrap up an out-right conference crown.

GAME NOTES:
- Seward County and Hutchinson have now split eight straight conference doubleheaders dating back to 2005. The last time either team swept a conference doubleheader against each other came in 2004 when SCCC swept the doubleheader in Liberal, and Hutchinson came back sweeping the Saints in Hutchinson…

- The Saints have won 11 Jayhawk West Conference titles under 27-year head coach Galen McSpadden (1986, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007). McSpadden has led the Saints to a first or second-place finish in the Jayhawk West in 15 of the last 16 years…

- McSpadden will coach in his 1,400th career game at Seward County in game one against Pratt C.C. on Saturday, April 26, at Brent Gould Field…

- Freshman Mikel Huston now has recorded two conference game-winning base hits this season. Both have come in extra innings as Huston defeated Barton County with a walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning on March 30, and on Sunday he scored Trent Martinez with a RBI double in the top of the 10th inning… Huston is now batting a team-high .389 this season…

- If the Region VI Playoffs began today, the Jayhawk West leading Saints would host Jayhawk East eighth-place Neosho County Community College (20-22, 9-19)… The Neosho County Panthers are just two years removed from their Eastern Division championship season in 2006…

- Seward County has clinched its fourth First Round Region VI home-playoff series over the last five years… Since the Region VI playoff format changed in 2004 the Saints are 6-3 in first round competition.

- The Saints’ hitters and pitching staff, along with two individual players are closing in on some of the all-time single-season records in Seward County baseball history… The following are the categories, individuals and where they currently rank in SCCC history.

- Team single-season doubles (109, 9th place)
- Team pitching staff ERA (4.30, 4th place)
- Individual pitching winning percentage (Jordan McClintick – .875 (7-1), Tied for 8th place)
- Individual pitching winning percentage (Tomas Cruz - .818 (9-2), Tied for 10th place)
- Individual pitching wins (Tomas Cruz – 9, Tied for 8th place)
- Individual pitching ERA (Tomas Cruz – 2.17, 3rd place)
- Individual pitching complete games (Tomas Cruz – 6, Tied for 8th place)