Maybe it was the thought of playing the two extra innings, maybe it was something in the air but as the Seward County Saints baseball team looked to close in on a double header sweep Saturday against Northeastern JC, a 7-3 seventh inning lead quickly turned South as they ended up losing game two of the double header 11-9 after taking game one 8-2.
Seward couldnít have written a better script for their 2010 season to start as leadoff man Kelby Tomlinson walked to start the game and Quay Grant tripled to score him immediately after. Grant then scored on a wild pitch and Seward had a 2-0 lead before the Plainsmen had even grabbed their bats. NJC provided no threat to Seward starter Jared Wagner in the first two innings and the 2-0 lead stood into the bottom of the 3rd. With one out, four straight Plainsmen reached base culminating in a pair of runs to tie the game at two. The Saints would quickly answer as Jared Broadbent sent a 3-2 pitch over the outfield fence to put Seward back up 3-2. After Wagner worked his way around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the 4th the Saints struck again as Grant and Broadbent both hit two run bombs in the inning to open up a 7-2 advantage. Wagner and reliever Cameron Maldonado wouldnít allow another hit for the final three innings and Seward would draw a bases loaded bean ball in the 6th to score another run as they came out on top of an 8-2 decision. Saints pitchers allowed just 2 hits to Northeastern in the win as Wagner tossed 5 innings and Maldonado finished the final 2. Jared Broadbent didnít start his season too shabby as the sophomore went 3 for 4 in the opener with a pair of home runs and 3 RBIís. Closely following that performance was Quay Grant who picked up the tough part of a cycle with a home run and a triple in three plate appearances while he also knocked in 3.
Game two started very well for the Saints much as game one did. Tomlinson again walked to lead off the game and was quickly driven in as Luke Campbell sent a ball screaming over the wall to make it 2-0 Saints. David Morgan and Jared Broadbent singled after Campbellís bomb and the Saints were in business again. After a wild pitch moved both runners up 90 feet, Josh Dawson had an RBI groundout to put Seward up 3-0. However, the Plainsmen would score a trio of runs themselves in the bottom of the 1st on 4 hits including an RBI triple from right fielder Ben Netzel. The 3 theme would continue in the 2nd as a one out NJC error set the table for Campbellís second home run in as many innings as the sophomore smashed a 1-2 offering towering out of the park to put Seward up 6-3. Seward starter Logan Hall would then settle in as he retired 14 of his next 16 hitters after a pair of singles to lead off the 2nd, as he threw up 5 straight 0ís for the Saints and after a 2 out RBI double by Campbell in the 4th, Seward found themselves up 7-3 going to the bottom of the 7th. Thatís when the cherry turned sour on Seward and after a couple of singles and an error, Tyler Patterson launched a three run bomb for Northeastern to tie the game at 7 apiece. Before the inning was over the Plainsmen had put together a 5 spot to take an 8-7 lead as the teams went to the 8th. Seward came out swinging in the 8th and Broadbent and Dawson started the inning with singles and were followed by a walk to Jordan Dallalio to load the bases with no outs. Todd Glime evened the game with a sac fly to center field but that is all the Saints would get as their rally was thwarted by a pair of fielders choices to end the half inning tied at 8. 8-8 it was in the bottom of the 8th before NJC had their first two batters reach base and then score off of Saints reliever Tyler Hill. When the dust settled in the inning, the Plainsmen had scored three and Seward trailed by that same margin as they went up to the plate for their last at bats. Campbell would single for his fourth hit of the game to lead off the inning and after a pair of strikeouts would come around to score on an RBI single from Dawson. With the tying run at the plate, Seward was unable to do anymore damage and fell 11-9. Campbell finished the game with those four hits and a career high 6 RBIís in the loss while Dawson finished with a pair of hits and RBIís. In his first collegiate action, Dallalio finished 2 for 4 and Broadbent rounded out the quartet of Saints with multiple hits in the game with 2.