The Seward County Community College baseball team fell into the loserís bracket in the NJCAA Region VI Tournament after suffering a 6-3 loss against Johnson County Community College (39-15) Sunday evening at Lawrence Dumont Stadium in Wichita. Despite a 5-for-5 hitting effort from sophomore third baseman Austin Roff, the Saints had only two base runners reach scoring position in the final five innings. The Cavaliers, who have won 14 of their last 15 games, advance to the winnerís bracket final on Monday evening. The No. 10 nationally-ranked Saints (41-18) will play in an elimination game Monday morning at 10 a.m. against Fort Scott Community College (38-20), who defeated Allen County Community College 6-5 on Monday afternoon.

Seward County took advantage of a fielding error by JCCC third baseman Drew Garwood to plate two runs in the top of the third inning.

First baseman Will Gowdy hit a ground ball to Garwood who threw the ball over the first basemanís head and sailed out of play, which scored Trent Martinez for the first run of the game. Freshman shortstop David Cruz followed with a RBI groundout to score Roff, giving the Saints an early 2-0 lead.

Martinez reached base with a two-out infield single to start a Saintsí rally in the fourth inning. Martinez then stole second base and scored on a RBI single by Keegan Morrow to give the Saints a 3-1 advantage. That would be the final run of the game for the Saints.

JCCC answered with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth inning by Chad Griffin to score Jeremy Francis, putting the Cavs a run behind the Saints, 3-2.

It looked as though Kowalchuk ran into trouble in the fifth issuing two walks and a base hit to start the inning. The sophomore lefty was able to escape allowing just one run while inducing a double play groundout and a fly out to center field as the Cavaliers evened the score at three apiece.

Johnson County took its first lead in the bottom of the sixth inning and never looked back. An error by Seward County shortstop David Cruz extended the inning for the Cavs who then plated a run on a bases-loaded walk issued by Kowalchuk. That would be the final batter Kowalchuk would face as Johnson County took the 4-3 lead. Kowalchuk pitched 5 2/3 innings while scattering seven hits and four runs (three earned) with five walks.

An RBI single from Drew Garwood and another defensive miscue by the Saints led to JCCCís final two runs in the seventh inning. The Saints, meanwhile, went silent offensively in the final five innings collecting four base hits and stranding three base runners as Droge picked up the complete-game victory for the Cavaliers.

Droge, who entered the game with a 1.25 earned run average, improved to 8-2 on the season allowing 11 hits, three runs (one earned) with four of his six strikeouts coming in the final two innings.

The Saints were led offensively by Roff (5-for-5), Morrow (2-for-5, RBI), Cruz (2-for-5, RBI) and Martinez (2-for-4, two runs). In addition, the Seward County 5-8 hitters went a combined 0-for-14 with three strikeouts.

The Cavaliers were led by Lenherr (2-for-4, two RBIs), Nate Thomas (2-for-3, two runs) and Garwood (2-for-3, run, RBI).


Saturday, May 10:
Johnson County defeated Barton County, 7-4
No. 10 Seward County defeated Kansas City, 10-3
Hutchinson defeated Fort Scott, 9-5
Cowley defeated Allen County, 16-6 (6)

Sunday, May 11:
Kansas City defeated Barton County, 8-4
Fort Scott defeated Allen County, 6-5
Johnson County defeated No. 10 Seward County, 6-3
Cowley vs. Hutchinson @ 7 p.m. (winner's bracket)

Monday, May 12:
Seward County vs. Fort Scott @ 10 a.m. (loserís bracket)
Kansas City vs. Cowley/Hutchinson loser @ 1 p.m. (loserís bracket)
Johnson County vs. Cowley/Hutchinson winner @ 4 p.m. (winnerís bracket)
Loserís Bracket Winners @ 7 p.m.