After having their season ended last year by the Hutchinson Blue Dragons in the Region VI Championship game, the Seward County Saints took the turf at Brent Gould Field in Liberal this weekend with revenge on their mind. After a 7-3 game one win, the Saints would get walk off victories in the next three games, with a 10-9 win in game two, a 3-2 win in game three, before a 10-0 win in game four to put the icing on the cake from the weekend.

Seward would get the weekend started off right in game one as they would get a 1-2-3 1st inning from ace Logan Hall and would respond with 3 runs in the bottom of the inning on a 2 RBI double down the line off the bat of Jake Barrios and a sacrifice fly later in the inning from Jon Mestas to make it 3-0 after 1. Hutchinson would get a two out single from Joey Goodwin in the top of the 2nd inning for their first run of the game and 3-1 is where the game would stand into the 5th. The Dragons would leave Michael Morales stranded at second base after a one out single in the top of the inning and Seward would take a four run lead in the bottom half after Tyler Hill drove in Jordan Dallalio who walked earlier in the inning and Jake Barrios scored on an error by Hutch shortstop Tyler Klouser to make it 5-1. Hutch would make things interesting again in the top of the 6th inning when they got three straight two out hits to score a pair of runs to make it 5-3 but the Saints would answer right back in their next at bats as Steven Polito and JT Bean cracked doubles to center to score one and Jon Mestas singled later in the inning through the hole on the left side to score Barrios before Hill got thrown out of the plate to end the inning with Seward on top 7-3. That would be all the breathing room that Hall would need as the right hander sat Hutch down in order with a pair of strikeouts in the top of the 7th to end the game and give Seward the 7-3 win in the opener. Hall not surprisingly went the distance for Seward, recording his 10th career complete game while moving to 10-1 on the mound in his Jayhawk West career by allowing 3 runs and striking out 4 in just 88 pitches in the game. Hill was the only Saint to have more than 1 hit in the game as he finished 3 for 4 with an RBI while Barrios was 1 for 2 with 2 RBIís and 3 runs scored and Mestas was also 1 for 2 with 2 RBIís.
For the majority of game two, it looked like both Saturday games were going to have similar scores and similar results but late in the back end of the double header, things got a little bit interesting and it took more dramatics than in game one for the Saints to come out with a win. The game would remain scoreless after 2 innings as Gavin Glanz and Matt Meyer took turns stranding opposing runners. Hutch would get on the board first as Jordan Miller would send the ninth pitch of his at bat against Glanz over the left field wall for his first home run of the year to make it 1-0 Dragons. The Saints wouldnít let the Hutch lead stand for long though as Steven Polito was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the 3rd and would quickly be driven home by a two run shot off the bat of Dallalio to make it 2-1 Seward. The Saints would get one more run in the inning as Barrios and Hill roped back to back singles with two outs to score another run to put Seward on top 3-1 into the 4th. Glanz would have his way with the Dragons in the top of the 4th as he retired the side on just 10 pitches and allowed Seward to get right back to work at the plate. A Hutch error would start the Seward half of the 4th and after a single from Eddie Williams and a walk to Willy Gustin the bases would be loaded with nobody out. Polito would drive two in on an RBI single to right and Gustin would score later on a double steal to make it a 6-1 game in favor of the guys in green. Glanz would walk the bases loaded in the top of the 5th before weaseling his way out of trouble with a strikeout and a groundout and the Saints would go up 8-1 as Hill singled ahead of a home run from Mestas with two outs to make it a seven run game. Hutch would get the two runs back in the 6th inning as a couple of hits and a groundout to start the frame turned into a pair of runs to make it 8-3. Neither team would score in the next at bats and after stretch time the Saints would put together a two out rally behind a Mestas double and a Williams single to make it 9-3 with just two innings remaining. The Saints did the last thing they wanted to do as the 8th inning began with a double and then two straight walks but Bryce Ruff came in and got the next two hitters without a ball getting out of the infield to put two outs on the board with the bases loaded. A wild pitch would net the Dragons a run and make it 9-4 and thatís when things got a little bit crazy. With runners on second and third the unconventional Dragons would attempt a double steal as the runner from third broke to try to steal home plate. Ruff threw a strike home and the runner was tagged out attempting to dive into the plate but a controversial balk was called to allow the run to score and extend the inning. The next batter would double to score two more runs and the Dragons would net another run in the inning to cut the Saints lead to just one at 9-8. The stunned Saints would be retired in order for just the second time on the day in the 8th and Hutchinson would tie the game at 9 as Seward had a chance to close out the game by fielding a ground ball with two outs in the 9th but an error would cost them a run and even things up as the game went to the bottom of the 9th. The Dragons would then make another surprising move as they brought in their #1 pitcher and scheduled game three starter Andrew Urban in from the bullpen to pitch to Seward in the 9th. He would walk Barrios to start the frame and Hill would bunt him over into scoring position with one out. Pinch hitter Brittain Ibbotson would then single through the hole on the left side of the infield but the left fielder was playing shallow enough that the Saints could not wave Barrios around in an attempt to win the game. With runners on first and third, Mestas would step to the plate for the Saints. After taking the first pitch high, Mestas would calmly drive a ball to right field and as the ball dropped to the turf after being misplayed, Barrios would trot home and score the winning run to give Seward the 10-9 walk off win. Mestas finished his big game 2 for 4 with 3 RBIís and 3 runs scored while Hill and Williams each went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Polito and Dallalio each had a hit, 2 RBIís, and a run scored while Ibbotson and Barrios had the other two hits for the Saints. Glanz received a tough luck no decision after he pitched 6 solid innings, allowing 5 hits and 3 runs while striking out 4 and leaving the game with an 8-3 lead and Gustin earns the win in relief after going 1 1/3 innings allowing a hit and an unearned run while fanning a pair.
The Dragons would again be the first to score in game three as they sent Urban to the mound to oppose Sewardís Paul Pulley. Hutch would leave a runner in the top of the 1st and the Saints would leave the bases loaded in the bottom before the Dragons got a pair of sacrifices with runners on 3rd to score two runs and make it a 2-0 game. The Saints would get the runs back in the 3rd when Dallalio and Bean started the inning with hits and would be driven home by a 2 RBI double from Hill to even things up at 2-2. Later in the inning the Saints thought that they had scored the go ahead run when Williams hit a shallow fly ball to center and a tagging Hill came in to touch the plate but Ben Wainwright was doubled off of second base to end the inning with the umpires failing to correctly give the Saints their third run. The game would stay at 2-2 into the 7th inning as Seward was retired in order in each of the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings while Pulley would drop three goose eggs on the Dragons through the middle innings to keep it a 2-2 game. Hutch would get a one out single in the 7th but a tailor made double play ball would get the Saints out of the inning and give them a chance to win it in their final at bats. Gustin would lead off for Seward in the 7th and he would find a hole on the left side for a single to get things going. Polito would then beat out an infield single to put runners on first and third. With runners on first and third and nobody out the Dragons would choose to intentionally walk Dallalio, an adventure in itself that saw Urban very uncomfortable on the mound and even throw a pitch unintentionally in the strike zone to Dallalio. With the bases now loaded and nobody out Bean stepped to the dish and chopped the third pitch he saw high to the second baseman in which time Gustin sped home to score the winning run and give Seward their second straight walk off win 3-2. Pulley was the story for Seward as the right hander won his 3rd straight start by going all 7 innings, allowing just 4 hits and 2 runs while striking out 4 in an 88 pitch complete game. Urban on the other hand will wish that he never caught the bus to Liberal as the sophomore right hander entered the weekend a perfect 6-0 and leaves 6-2 after suffering losses in both game two and game three of the series. Bean finished the game 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored while Gustin peaked his batting average back over .400 with a 2 for 3 game. Hillís 2 RBI single was the difference in the game as he finished 1 for 3 with the 2 RBIís in the win.
With the series win in their back pocket the Saints set out to have some fun in the finale and that they did. Seward starter Keegan Hucul got off to somewhat of a slow start but shaped back up quickly after Head Coach Galen McSpadden trotted out to the mound and had a few choice words with him as he battled out of trouble to keep Hutch off the board. Hucul would go on to strike out the side in the 2nd but the Saints would be unable to get anything going on offense and the game would be scoreless into the 3rd. In the 3rd Hucul would again work out of trouble after a pair of two out walks loaded the bases as he got a pop up on the infield that was handled by Bean to keep it a 0-0 game. Seward would load the bases with one out in the 3rd and an interesting move by Hutch right fielder Connor McClain to let a Dallalio pop up land foul rather than catch it would cost the Dragons as Dallalio ripped a double to the gap to score two on the next pitch he would see to score two and make it a 2-0 game in favor of the Saints. Bean would be hit by a pitch to reload the bases and Barrios would take the RBI opportunity to add two to his 2011 total as he squibbed a single past the drawn in infield to score two more and make it 4-0 Seward. A sacrifice fly from Hill would score the Saints fifth run of the inning and into the 4th the teams went with Seward on top 5-0. Hucul would find his groove and cruise through the middle innings of the game but the Saints would not take advantage of their pitchers effort and it would remain 5-0 into the 7th. A tiring Hucul would be removed in favor of Jose Gonzalez to start the 7th and the Saints lefty Gonzalez would blow away the first two Dragon hitters he would see before getting a groundout on the first pitch to the next hitter to complete a quick 1-2-3 frame. In the bottom of the 7th the Saints would benefit from a leadoff error on the Dragons as Barrios picked up his third RBI of the game with a single up the middle to make it 6-0 Saints. Gonzalezís stuff was electric again in the 8th as he got another strikeout while retiring the side in order on just 10 pitches to get Seward right back in the dugout to hit. Sam Pack would walk with one out and would be followed by a single from Ibbotson to put runners on first and third with one gone in the inning. Polito would then single to right to bring in one run and wouldnít be on the bases for long as Dallalio cracked his second 2 RBI hit of the day as he brought home Ibbotson and Polito with a double to left to make it a 9-0 game. Looking for their third straight walk off win the Saints would get it as Bean stepped to the plate and wasted no time in finding a hole to right field to bring home Dallalio and force the run rule in a 10-0 Saints win. The shutout for Seward was their first of the season as Hucul went the first 6 innings, allowing just 4 hits and 4 walks while striking out a career high 7 to earn the win while Gonzalez pitched 2 perfect frames with 3 punch outs, turning in his best performance of the month. Dallalio finished his big nightcap with 4 RBIís and 3 runs scored in a 2 for 5 effort while Barrios was 2 for 4 with 3 RBIís and Hill and Polito each had 2 hits and an RBI in the win.
The sweep brings the Blue Dragons 10 game win streak to a screeching halt while the Saints are now in a stretch in which they have rolled off 11 wins in their last 13 games. Seward improves to 33-17 overall, 21-7 in Jayhawk West play, and 18-6 in Region VI West play, all but assuring themselves of a home sub-regional if they can avoid an epic collapse next weekend at last place Pratt. The Saints now have a 2 game lead on Colby in the Jayhawk West standings and a 3 game lead on the 3rd place Barton Cougars while in the Region VI West standings the Saints have a 2 game lead on both the Trojans and Cougars going into their final weekend of play. Next up for Seward will be a Wednesday matchup with Clarendon at Brent Gould Field which will mark the final regular season home game for the Saints. The game will start at 2:00 with 11 Seward sophomores being recognized before the game on sophomore day at the stadium.