One of the many reasons that we love sports is you just never know what you are going to see when you head to the stadium on a given day. If you are a fan of that then Brent Gould Field was the place to be this weekend as the Seward County Saints hosted the Colby Trojans in the Jayhawk West Conferenceís opening weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Seward would come from behind in their final at bats to win game one 6-5 before dropping game two 12-8 after they were unable to climb out of a 6-0 first inning hole. Sunday would see the same shenanigans as each team would have a 10+ run inning in game three as Colby would come out on top 16-15 and the series finale would have to go extra innings after the Saints blew a 5 run lead in the top of the 9th before coming back to win in the 11th 10-9.

The opener of the series was a pitchers dual as expected early on as the Saints number one arm Logan Hall went head to head with Colbyís ace Cory Ridenour. Hall was locked in out of the gates for the Saints as the sophomore righty retired the Trojans in order in each of the first three innings on just 33 pitches to put up goose eggs across the board for Colby through three. The Saints on the other hand would give Ridenour a small amount of trouble as they got two runner on in the second before he could close the inning and would get a runner to second base in both the 2nd and 3rd but couldnít push anything across and it was 0-0 after 3. Hall would get two quick outs in the 4th but would then pitch himself into trouble as he walked and hit a man before getting a pop out to right to retire the side and the Colby threat. The Saints would finally get something going in their half of the 4th as Tyler Hill and Jordan Dallalio singled back to back to open up the inning and after a sacrifice bunt, a walk would load the bases with one out. Brittain Ibbotson would fight off a couple of tough pitches before lifting a fly ball to left field to score the first run of the day and put the Saints on top 1-0 after 4. Neither team would score in the 5th and quickly the game went to the 6th at 1-0 in favor of Seward. Just when you thought Hall was on his way to yet another complete game victory for Seward, it was as if a switch was turned on in the Colby dugout. The first three hitters of the inning would reach on solid singles, tying the game and putting two on with no outs. With Hallís attention on the middle of the Colby lineup, the Trojans took the time to steal a pair of bases and would have runners on second and third with nobody down. A sacrifice fly would put Colby ahead 2-1 and the damage wasnít done yet. Hallís day would end with a walk and the Trojans would great reliever Ty Thomas with a pair of hits and another sac fly to bring home three more runs before the inning was over to give Colby a 5-1 lead after 5 Ĺ. Hill and Dallalio would start the Seward 6th much as they had the 4th as the two reached with nobody out to give the Saints a chance to get back into the ballgame. Hill would score on a one out groundout by Ben Wainwright and Dallalio would come home on a single from Ibbotson to bring the Saints to within two but they couldnít get any closer in the inning as a looking strikeout would end the frame with two runners left on. Austin Beisel would be the Saints third pitcher of the day and would wriggle his way out of trouble in the 7th to keep it a 5-3 game and give Seward a chance in their final at bats to tie the game with two or win it with three in the bottom half. Seward would respond against Colby closer RJ Joe as Jake Barrios and JT Bean started things off with a pair of singles to bring the winning run to the plate. After Joe got a strikeout, Dallalio would pick up his third hit of the day with a single to left field to bring in Barrios and push pinch runner Dillon Bryant over to third. With the tying run just 90 feet away, pinch hitter Tanner Rainey wasted no time to knotting the game up as he singled through the hole on the right side to tie things up at 5. Wainwright would be walked to load the bases and Ibbotson would come to the plate with his third RBI chance of the day with just one out. Ibbotson, who was the nationís leading hitter coming into the weekend didnít even have to take his bat to the plate as he was hit by the first pitch thrown his way to score Dallalio from third and give the Saints the walk off win 6-5. Ibbotson would finish the game with just two official plate appearances and with one hit but would be credited with 3 RBIís in the game including the game winner. Barrios and Bean would each have 2 hits on the afternoon while Dallalio would go 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored. Beisel would earn his first collegiate win on the mound after throwing a scoreless 7th inning on just 9 pitches, including 8 for strikes for Seward.
Any momentum that you thought the Saints might have had after a come from behind win in the opener was quickly brushed away in game two as the Trojans hammered the baseball around the yard in the 1st inning to the tune of 6 runs on 6 hits to give Colby a quick 6-0 lead. Steven Polito would double to start the Saints 1st and would score on a single from Dallalio to make it 6-1 but after getting more traffic in the inning, the Saints would leave the bases loaded as the inning came to a close with them down by that 6-1 count. Each team would go empty handed in the 2nd but Colby would get two more runs in the top half of the 3rd as the Saints defense would let them down with a two out error to score two and put the Trojans up 8-1. The Saints top of the order would do their job in the bottom of the inning as Polito, Dallalio, and Barrios would all reach in front of Bean who would hit a frozen rope to the center field wall to clear the bases and make it 8-4 Colby. After a groundball to second moved Bean up to third, a mishandled chopper by Colby 1st baseman Brandon Wilson would plate him to all of a sudden make it a three run game at 8-5 after 3. The teams would trade zeros in the 4th and would each get an unearned run in the 5th to make it 9-6. A leadoff walk would spell trouble for Seward in the Colby 6th as the walk would turn into a run on a double by Nathan Wilson and he would trot home on a single by Tyler Hayes to put the Trojans ahead 11-6. Seward would get another single run in the bottom of the 6th inning as Ibbotson doubled and would score on a single through the box by Dallalio to bring the Saints to within four. Colby would add an insurance run in the top of the 7th and the Saints would get it back in the bottom of the 8th but three strikeouts in the 9th for the Saints would spell their end and give the Trojans their first victory of the season in a 12-8 decision. Dallalio would again lead the Seward attack with 3 hits, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBIís in four trips while Barrios and Ibbotson would each pick up 2 hits and Rainey would drive in 2 on a 1 for 3 night. Paul Pulley would suffer the loss for the Saints, yielding 8 runs, 6 earned on 8 hits in just 2 2/3.
On day two of the series it would again be Colby that would jump ahead early as Seward starter Jose Gonzalez was lifted after just 1/3 of an inning as he allowed 2 hits, walked 3, and hit a batter to give the Trojans a 3-0 lead with the bases still loaded as Beisel came in in relief. Beisel would pick up his teammate with a strikeout and pop out and the Saints found themselves down just 3 after the Trojans hit around in the inning and left the bases loaded. The Saints couldnít take advantage of a seed off the left center field fence by Barrios with two outs but Beisel would get them right back to the plate after a 1-2-3 inning with the score still 3-0 Colby after 1 Ĺ. The Seward 2nd inning was nothing short of remarkable and you would say unbelievable if you hadnít seen it happen at the end of the 2010 season between these same two teams. To make a (really) long story short, the Saints would send 19 hitters to the plate in the inning, scoring 14, yes 14 runs on just 6 hits in an inning that would see Colby pitchers walk or hit 8 hitters, and their defense make 2 costly errors. Five different Saints would score twice in the inning and Hill would have three at bats in the 14 run frame that saw the only extra base hit come off the bat of Sam Pack who picked up his first collegiate hit with a double to the left center field gap with the bases loaded early in the inning. Colby would use four pitchers in the inning including two who failed to get an out while combining to give up 6 runs. The whole scenario would be hard to believe if Seward wouldnít have done the same exact thing to the Trojans last season in the Region VI Tournament. Down 7-5 in the 5th inning of the championship game of the Liberal Sub-Regional the Saints would score 14 runs before eventually coming out with the 19-7 win. With Seward now up 14-3, a stunned Colby team wouldnít get anything going in their half of the 3rd and it looked as if the Saints were right back at it again as they loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom half of the frame. Unfortunately for Seward, the inning would come to a close as quick as it got going as an infield fly followed by a tailor made double play ball would finish the inning without a run crossing the plate to keep the score 14-3. After retiring eight of the first nine batters he faced after coming into the game in the 1st, Beiselís control eluded him in the 4th inning with the Saints up 11. A pair of walks and a single would load the bases for Colby but a fielderís choice groundout and an infield popup would put two outs on the board. Without swinging the bat, the Trojans would score two runs on a bean ball and a walk before a single would score another and mark the end of Beiselís day with the score 14-8 with the bases still loaded. As the next hitter came to the plate, a ball that on a calm day would have been a routine catcherís popup, would turn into the oddest single you have ever seen as relief pitcher Jace Moore would overrun the ball before seeing it drop on the mound to score two and keep the inning going. With the score still 14-9 in favor of the Saints, an everyday ground ball would turn into an error and another run and back to back home runs would drive home two more and make it a 10 run inning and a 14-13 game after the dust was settled in the top half of the 4th. The Saints would get a lone run back in the bottom of the 4th after Dallalio singled and was moved around on another single before scoring on a wild pitch and as the teams went to the 5th it was 15-13 Seward. Back to back hits to open the inning and a sacrifice fly and a triple later the teams were all knotted up at 15 and after Seward failed to score in the bottom half of the 5th inning, Colby would take their first lead of the game as they manufactured a run to go ahead 16-15. The Saints could not score after having two runners reach in the bottom of the 6th and after a scoreless top of the 7th for Colby, the stage was set for Seward down by one heading into their last at bats. A pair of fly outs followed by a strikeout would finish the game and put the Saints in an infamous category all to themselves. After checking multiple sources, it is thought that the Saints could be the first team in college baseball history to score 14 or more runs in an inning and still lose the game. Hill would suffer the loss on the mound for the Saints but had the best line of the five Seward hurlers in the game after going 3 innings without walking a batter and allowing just one unearned run. The middle of the Saints order did their job in the loss as Dallalio went 2 for 4 with 3 runs scored, Barrios went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI, Jon Mestas finished 3 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI, and Hill went 2 for 4 with a pair of runs scored.
The series finale would be another wild one as the Saints would load the bases with no outs in their half of the 1st and would score all three on an error in the Colby infield followed by an RBI groundout from Rainey to make it 3-0 early on. The Trojans would get one run back in the top of the second to make it 3-1 but their pitching again let them down in the bottom half of the inning as the Saints scored 5 runs with the courtesy of just a leadoff single as four straight walks, a groundout, and a sacrifice fly would put them up 8-1 after 2. Seward starter Gavin Glanz would get a zero in the 3rd and the Saints were back at the plate up 8-1 in the bottom half. They would again have traffic without doing anything of their own as Mestas was walked to start the inning and Wainwright was hit by a pitch to put two on and no out. Three straight pop ups behind that would end the inning without either of the runners advancing a step and the score remained 8-1 after 3. Each team would leave a runner in scoring position in the 4th inning and Colby chipped away at the Seward lead with a two out double in the 5th to score a pair and make it 8-3 Saints. After getting the 8 runs in the first two innings, the Seward offense shut down in the next four innings as they managed just one hit and they went in order in both the 5th and 6th innings while Colby continued to creep closer, picking up another run in the top of the 6th to make it 8-4 as they went to the 7th. Colby would get back to back singles to start their half of the 7th to bring the tying run on deck but Saints coach Galen McSpadden was just about out of options in the Seward bullpen and decided to leave his freshman right hander Glanz in there to pitch out of his own trouble. The move worked as Glanz found another gear, picking up back to back strikeouts and a pop out to end the frame and the threat to keep the Saints on top 8-4. The Saints would get an insurance run in the 7th as Bean led off their half of the inning with a line drive home run over the 370 sign in right center to make it 9-4 but they wouldnít get any more even after having runners on first and third with just one out and it would remain 9-4 Seward into the 8th. Both teams would strand a runner in the 8th without scoring and to the 9th the two went with the Saints ahead by five. Just when it looked like it was going to be a series split with an easy game four win, the Trojans decided to wake up with their last three outs all that was left. Colby would see their first 6 hitters of the inning reach base with only a fielderís choice recording an out for the Saints to quickly make it a 9-7 game and sending Seward reliever Ty Thomas to the showers in favor of Ethan Adams in his first collegiate appearance. The Trojans would not take well to Adams as catcher Nathan Wilson greeted him with a single to right to score two runs and tie the game up at 9. Willy Gustin would then step to the mound for Seward and end any further damage but the Saints 8-1 2nd inning advantage and their 9-4 9th inning lead were now gone as they came to hit with the game tied 9-9 in the bottom of the 9th. Jace Moore would single through the box to lead off the 9th for the Saints and would be moved to second on a sac bunt by Rainey to put him in scoring position with one out. The Trojans would intentionally walk Mestas and would then induce a ground ball for a double play to end the inning and send the game to extras. In the 10th Gustin would quiet a rowdy Colby bunch with a rapid 1-2-3 inning but Seward would not be able to take advantage of it as two straight errors by Colby would again put runners on first and second with nobody out but a double play and a lazy fly ball to the pitcher would end the threat and send things to the 11th. In his second stretched out appearance in two days, Gustin was unfazed, setting down the first two Trojan hitters he would see on two pitches before winning a 3-2 battle with Scott Jones for the third out of the inning. With one out in the Seward 11th, Rainey would draw a walk and Mestas would hit what seemed like a harmless single up the middle to move him to second. What wasnít harmless for Colby, unfortunately for the Trojans, was the ball scooting through the legs of center fielder Robert Glover to bring Rainey all the way around from first to score the game winning run and give the Saints a 10-9 win in game four. Colby outhit the Saints 17 to 8 in the game but their 3 errors proved costly in the one run loss. Seven Saints starters had 1 hit in the game including Bean and Hill who both drove in a pair and Dallalio, Barrios, and Polito who all scored 2 runs each. Gustin picks up the win on the hill after throwing 2 2/3 perfect innings of relief while striking out 3.
The split puts both teams at 2-2 in Jayhawk West Conference play while the Saints remain 2 games over .500 at 9-7 overall on the year. The two 1-1 days marks the 5th and 6th straight double header splits for the Saints, a distinction they would like to change Wednesday as they head to Lamar to take on the Runnin Lopes at 1:00 and 3:30 at Merchants Park. The Saints will return to conference action next weekend in Concordia when they will take on Cloud County in a pair of double headers starting at 1:00 on both Saturday and Sunday.