The Seward County Community College baseball team finished their season on Tuesday night at the Region VI Baseball Tournament in Wichita at Lawrence Dumont Stadium. The Saints exited the tournament in fourth place with a 9-7 loss to Neosho County Community College. Seward County ended their season with a 2-2 record at the eight-team Region VI with wins over Hutchinson (7-6, 14 innings) and Coffeyville (9-6) and losses against Butler (10-2) and Neosho County. Seward County finishes the season 33-27, marking the 14th season in a row the Saints baseball program has won at least 33 games, and the third straight season the Saints have finished in the top four in the Region VI Baseball Tournament.

Seward opened tournament play in Wichita against Jayhawk West Conference foe, Hutchinson Community College (43-12), the No. 1 seed from the Western Division. The Saints and Blue Dragons needed 14 innings to decide the game as Seward outlasted the Blue Dragons 7-6, with Saints starting pitcher Michael Jarman, pitching nine innings and Saints relief pitcher Zeb Birch, pitching the final five frames to earn the victory.

The Saints trailed Hutch 6-0 after two innings, but then tallied four runs in the third inning and a run apiece in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the score, 6-6. Neither team scored a run for the next eight innings with the Saints finally breaking the tie in the top of the 14th inning when second baseman, Bo Merrell, scored the winning run on first baseman, Brett Davis’ sacrifice fly to center field. Hutchinson was unable to score in the bottom of the 14th to give the Saints the win in the 3 hour and 45 minute contest.

Seward advanced to the second round against Butler Community College (38-17) who defeated Cowley College (36-21) in their first round game. The Saints allowed 18 base hits and 10 runs to Butler in their 10-2 loss. Toby Davis (2-for-4) and Tanner Rindels (2-for-4, two doubles) were the only Saints with multi-hit games. Saints starting pitcher, Brett Davis pitched 4.1 innings allowing seven hits, five runs (three earned runs) with four walks in the loss for the Saints.

In Seward County’s first elimination game they faced Coffeyville Community College (28-24), who previously knocked off Barton County Community College (34-23) in the loser’s bracket (8-3). Seward County found themselves down once again 4-0, heading into the bottom of the second inning but was able to erase the deficit scoring five runs in the second inning. The Red Ravens scored two runs in the fifth inning but the Saints answered with a pair of solo home runs in the fifth inning as pinch hitter, Tanner Rindels and catcher, Tyler Henry each went deep to lift the Saints back on top 7-6.

Saints pitcher, Chris Holguin, entered the game in the second inning, relieving starting pitcher, Matt Sopic, and was able to pitch the remainder of the game allowing five hits, two runs and striking out five batters to pick up the win. Right fielder, Erik Hegstad, went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI and Henry had a big game going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI in the Saints 9-7 win.

In the Saints second consecutive elimination game, they faced Jayhawk East No. 1 seed, Neosho County (44-15). The Saints jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, scoring three runs in the first, one run in the second and one run in the third inning. Neosho’s offense registered a team batting average of .369 during the regular season, but was held scoreless with only one base hit going into the fifth inning.

In the fifth and sixth innings, Neosho scored eight unearned runs while the Saints committed two errors that led to the Panthers taking the lead for good. Seward County starting pitcher, Eric Everson, pitched 5.2 innings allowing four hits, eight runs (no earned runs) with four walks and one strikeout in a well pitched outing on the mound.

Holguin led the Saints offense from the D.H. position in the line-up going 4-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI. SCCC left fielder, Brian Majors, went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored in his final game as the Saints lead-off hitter.

NOTES:
After Neosho defeated Seward County they were eliminated from the tournament by Colby Community College, 11-7. In the Region VI Championship Game, undefeated Butler defeated Colby 5-0, earning Butler a berth in the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado. This year will be Butler’s second trip to the World Series, with their first appearance coming in 1994.