The rain went away for at least a couple of hours so the Seward County Community College and Fort Scott Community College baseball teams could begin their First Round Region VI best-of-three playoff series in Fort Scott, Kan. on Sunday. The one day layover was worth the wait as both games were thrillers that went down to the last out as the Saints were defeated 5-4 in game-one and then bounced back with a 6-4 victory in the nightcap to send the series to the “if necessary” game on Monday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at Lions Field.

The opening doubleheader was originally scheduled for Saturday with the “if necessary” game on Sunday, but with rain accumulation up to three inches on Friday and Saturday, the Saints and Greyhounds had to wait until Sunday for the start of their post-season action. Additionally, all games played in the post season are scheduled as nine-inning games.

Seward County looked to have a game-one victory in hand as Saints starting pitcher, Michael Jarman, pitched eight dominating innings on the mound allowing five hits, three runs (one earned run) and three strikeouts, while collecting a career-high 12 strikeouts. Jarman exited the game after throwing 138 pitches during his sparkling eight innings, handing the ball over to Saints relief pitcher, Chris Holguin.

The Saints led 4-3 going into the bottom of the ninth inning when Holguin entered the game. Fort Scott led off the inning with a single by center fielder, Danny Egan. The next Fort Scott batter, Brett Nightingale, laid down a bunt that Holguin fielded and threw to SCCC shortstop, Jeff Brewer, who turned a double-play for two-outs, with the Saints still ahead by one run. That is when Fort Scott mounted their ninth inning, two-out comeback.

Starting the rally was FSCC second baseman, Jeremy Strack, who hit a single in front of SCCC center fielder, Kai Kirby. Greyhound first baseman, Matt Stoeklen was then hit by a Chris Holguin curveball to move Strack to second base and Stoeklen to first base with clean-up hitter, Andrew Wells at the plate.

Holguin got ahead of Wells with two strikes and then threw a ball, low and outside to Wells. The next pitch from Holguin, Wells hit deep to left field hitting off the fence, as left fielder, Brian Majors jumped up against the wall trying to make the catch. With Strack and Stoeklen running on the crack of the bat, Strack was able to score easily with Stoeklen rounding third base when SCCC shortstop, Jeff Brewer caught the relay throw from Majors.

Brewer’s relay throw was a straight shot into Saints catcher, Tyler Henry, who caught the ball with Stoeklen coming into home with a slide and the call from the umpire coming as, safe, giving Fort Scott two runs to end the game 5-4. Jarman received the no-decision with Fort Scott winning the game with a two-run, two out rally in the ninth.

The Saints scored runs on Brewer’s two-run home run in the first inning, Bo Merrell’s one-run triple in the seventh frame and pinch hitter, Brad Roger’s, sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.

Game-two was another well played game by both teams with the Saints starting their other left-handed standout and Arizona State signee, Brett Davis. Seward once again scored first in the first inning on a two-run home run by right fielder, Erik Hegstad. Fort Scott tied the score, 2-2, scoring runs in both the first and third innings off Davis.

The Saints and Greyhounds each recorded runs in the seventh inning, as the score stayed knotted at 3-3.

The Saints knocked out Fort Scott starting pitcher, Lucas Allen, in the top of the ninth inning on three consecutive base hits as catcher, Tyler Henry, doubled, Majors singled and Brewer drove in Henry with an RBI single to right field, breaking the tie and giving the Saints a 4-3 lead. Hegstad then welcomed Greyhound relief pitcher, Ty Heffern, with a two-run double to left field, to score Majors and Brewer giving the Saints a 6-3 advantage.

Davis faced six Fort Scott batters in the ninth inning, while allowing one unearned run to finish his complete-game gem and earning the must win victory for the Saints.

Hegstad finished the game going 3-for-4 with a run scored, two doubles, home run and four RBI. Davis pitched nine innings allowing four runs (three earned), seven hits, five walks and striking out a season-high eight batters.

The Saints and Greyhounds will play their final game of the First Round Playoff series on Monday, May 1 at 1:00 p.m. at Lions Field. The starting pitchers for tomorrow’s nine-inning game are expected to be Seward County’s right-handed pitcher, Matt Sopic, against Fort Scott’s right-handed pitcher, Jake Brisbin (5-3, 2.86 ERA, 37 strikeouts).