The Seward County Community College baseball team will open the First Round of the Region VI Baseball Tournament on the road this Saturday at Fort Scott Community College. The First Round is a best two out of three playoff series where Seward and Fort Scott will play two-nine innings games starting at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday with the “if necessary” nine inning game at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. The Saints (29-24, 17-15) enter the post season as the No. 5 seed in the Jayhawk West while Fort Scott (33-21, 22-14) earned a home playoff berth as the No. 4 seed in the Jayhawk East Conference. The winner will advance to the eight-team Region VI Tournament May 6-10 at Lawrence Dumont Stadium in Wichita.

The Saints and Greyhounds matched up earlier this year as both teams were on their spring break trip in Phoenix, Ariz. Fort Scott defeated Seward County 11-4, recording 15 hits off four SCCC pitchers in the nine inning contest. Greyhound ace pitcher, Lendsey Thomson, a University of Missouri signee was the winning pitcher throwing a complete game victory for Fort Scott.

Fort Scott third year head coach, Chris Moddelmog (76-91 record at FSCC), has brought the Greyhound baseball program to the upper level of the Jayhawk East Conference after winning 22, 21 and now 33 games in his three years at Fort Scott.

The Greyhounds have ten hitters batting above .300 with a team batting average of .328. Fort Scott is led at the plate by freshman, Lawson Hipps, a 6’0” catcher who is batting .372 (54-for-145) with seven doubles, three home runs and 31 runs batted in (RBI).

The power source for Fort Scott’s batting line-up consists of three sophomores who have 64 % of the Greyhounds home runs and 40 % of the teams RBI. Third baseman/pitcher, Brett Nightingale (.365 average, 7 HR, 27 RBI), first baseman, Matt Stoeklen (.358 average, 13 HR, 50 RBI) and right fielder, Andrew Wells (.353 average, 8 HR, 38 RBI) have led the Greyhounds during their 33 wins this season.

Fort Scott also uses their speed on the base paths stealing 108-of-127 bases (85 %) this year. Five players have recorded at least ten stolen bases.

The Fort Scott pitching staff is anchored by three right handed pitchers, Thomson (9-2, 1.97 ERA, 48 strikeouts), Lucas Allen (7-4, 3.86 ERA, 44 strikeouts) and Jake Brisbin (5-3, 2.86 ERA, 37 strikeouts) who are all possibilities to be starting pitchers for Fort Scott this weekend.

The Saints enter the post season for the first time on the road since the Region VI Tournament went to its new format in 2004. Seward County also has ten .300 hitters being led by freshman, Kai Kirby (.419), sophomore, Brian Majors (.391) and sophomore, Brad Rogers (.375). The Saints offensive production has been led by freshmen, Toby Davis (.322 average, 8 2B, 5 3B, 9 HR, 40 RBI) and Erik Hegstad (.363 average, 18 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 40 RBI).

Seward County has received plenty of big wins this year from sophomore left handed pitcher, Michael Jarman, who last week was named NJCAA Pitcher of the Week. Jarman is 7-3 with a 2.70 ERA, pitching in 70 innings with 73 strikeouts. Jarman has thrown five complete games in 11 games started this year. The Saints will also look to sophomore, Brett Davis, who is 5-5 with a 4.06 ERA in 71 innings pitched. Davis has also started 11 games with five complete games with 34 strikeouts. Other standouts for the Saints pitching staff include sophomores, Matt Sopic (2-1, 4.86 ERA, 12 strikeouts) and Chris Holguin (7-5, 6.15 ERA, 43 strikeouts) and freshman, Zeb Birch (3.5, 6.08 ERA, 50 strikeouts).

The winner of the Fort Scott vs. Seward County series will advance to the eight-team Region VI Tournament in Wichita at Lawrence Dumont Stadium, May 6-10. The Seward/Fort Scott winner will play the winner of the Hutchinson (41-11) vs. Labette (16-24) First Round match-up at 1:00 p.m. on May 6.