Home sweet home it was for Seward County on Tuesday and Wednesday as the Saints swept the Cloud County T-Birds in the four game set after starting 3-7 on the road this season. The Saints cruised to a sweep on day one behind solid starts from Cameron Maldonado and Logan Hall and relied on their bats on day two with 28 hits in the two wins.


Just two weeks before the 2009-2010 school year started, you would have never guessed who the Seward County Saints Jayhawk West Conference opening day starter would have been. A couple of phone conversations between Hall of Fame Head Coach Galen McSpadden and former Wichita State Shocker Cameron Maldonado was all it took to have the 6í4 righty on his way to Liberal to play for the Saints and oh is the Seward County skipper happy he is now. The Saints sophomore right hander mowed down the Cloud County Thunderbirds to record his second straight complete game shutout and move his scoreless innings streak to 16 and 2/3rds on the season. Seward did their scoring early as they put up a 4 spot in the 2nd inning on just one hit, an RBI double from Josh Dawson and added 3 more in the 3rd on RBI doubles from Ty Jacobs and Daniel Bruce to put the home team up 7-0. Seward scored an unearned run in the 4th to go up 8-0 and would go on to win by the same count to pick up the win in their first conference game. Bruce finished the game with 3 RBIís while Jared Broadbent, Dawson, and Jacobs all crossed the plate a pair of times for 2 runs each. Maldonado finished allowing just the 5 hits and 1 walk for base runners in the complete game win while striking out 6 on the day.

After game two was finished it was almost as if you had pushed the clock back one year to the 2009 baseball season when the Saints had hard throwing right hander Bobby Doran going game one and lanky sinker-baller Corey Collins going in game two to give the Saints a 2-0 day. This time it was Maldonado going game one and Logan Hall going game two and Hall finished up the back end of the duo much as the current Mississippi State Bulldog Collins did last season. After going in order in the first, the Saints bashed out 6 hits in the 2nd inning and took advantage of 3 Cloud errors as the first 10 Saints hitters of the inning reached base with 8 of those scoring to put a snowman on the scoreboard and take an 8-0 lead. Hall would set down 13 consecutive batters through the middle innings for the Saints and allow the home team to tack on a run in the 4th and then one in the 6th on an RBI from David Morgan to give Seward the 10-0 mercy rule win in game two. Hall allowed just 2 hits in the game while going the distance and a well rounded offensive attack gave the Saints the 10 runs for the wins as every player had at least one hit with Morgan and Luke Campbell finishing with two hit games.

Cloud County was hoping that Wednesday would be a new day, and it was, but the team from Concordia didnít fare any better as the Saints would stay hot at the plate coming away with a pair of wins. Cloud did have hope early in game one on Wednesday as a bean ball and walk set the table for catcher Ethan Vinson in the first who came up with a 2 RBI single to put the T-Birds up 2-0 before the Saints stepped to the plate. Seward would get a run back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single from Josh Dawson and would score three times in the 2nd to take a 4-2 lead. A pesky Cloud team would not trail for long as they took advantage of poor Seward County defense to score three times in the 3rd and go back on top 5-4. The seesaw battle would continue in the bottom of the inning as the Saints would get 4 runs on 5 hits including 4 consecutive singles to start the inning from David Morgan, Ty Jacobs, Todd Glime, and Kevin Domrzalski to put themselves ahead 8-5. Saints starter Hayden Holub would come out and put up a big zero on the board after the 4 run inning for Seward to keep their stake at the 3 run lead. Neither team would be able to get their offensive touch going again as Holub went 6 and Quay Grant came in in the 7th to shut the door and pick up the save as Seward collected their third straight win with the 8-5 decision. The bottom three in the Seward order did a number on the Cloud County pitching staff in this one as Jacobs, Glime, and Domrzalski combined to go 6 for 8 with 5 RBIís and scored 6 runs in the win.

Freshman lefty Jose Gonzalez took the mound for the Saints as they looked for the sweep in game four and the rookie did a solid job early, setting down the T-Birds in order in the first three innings allowing the Saints to lead 4-0 after three thanks to a 4 run 1st highlighted by a 2 RBI single from Josh Dawson. Cloud would threaten in the 4th but Gonzalez would induce a double play to end the inning and avoid the threat and the Saints would answer by scoring 2 more in the bottom of the inning on an RBI triple from Kelby Tomlinson and an RBI groundout from Quay Grant. The T-Birds would strike for 3 runs in the 5th inning to bring them back into the game at 6-3 and that is where the game stood as the teams went to the 7th inning of play. Cloud would pick up another run in the 7th to cut it to a 2 run game but Paul Pulley would come in out of the bullpen to relieve Gonzalez and squash the T-Bird rally to keep the Saints out in front. Seward would take the momentum and score three in the bottom of the 7th on a 2 RBI double from Dawson and an RBI single from Ty Jacobs after the Saints loaded the bases without the benefit of a hit with no outs and the home team would find themselves on top 9-4 with a little more breathing room as the teams went to the last two innings of play. Pulley would shut the T-Birds down for the last two innings to pick up his first college save and the Saints would tack an insurance run on in the 8th as they went on to win 10-4 to complete the sweep of Cloud. Gonzalez went 6 1/3 allowing just 2 earned runs to pick up his first collegiate win while Pulley slammed the door for 2 2/3 of hitless relief to pick up the save. Tomlinson went 3 for 4 at the top of the Seward order while Dawson and Jacobs both also went 3 for 4 with a combined 6 RBIís in the victory.

The Saints quickly vault themselves to the top of the Jayhawk West standings with the 4-0 opening series sweep and pull themselves back to 7-7 overall on the season with the wins. They will now have a short turnaround time with the Cloud games being pushed back because of the weather and will take on another 4-0 team in Butler Saturday and Sunday in El Dorado.