Seward County Saints pitching held a hot hitting Hutchinson team to just 6 runs in 4 games this weekend, helping secure a series win and a move to the top of the Jayhawk West standings on Eastern weekend at Hobart-Detter Field in Hutchinson. The Saints won game one 3-1 behind a strong start from Keegan Hucul and finished the Friday sweep with a 7-0 win thanks in part to a complete game shutout from Gavin Glanz. In game three Seward had a golden opportunity to win the series as they were up 4-2 going into the 6th inning but Hutch came back to win 5-4 in walk off fashion in the 7th. In the series finale Seward rode the right arm of TJ Looney who allowed just 4 hits in a complete game win while striking out 9 as the Saints cruised to a 9-1 win to take the series.

In the opener both teams had trouble scoring early on. Both Seward and Hutchinson had traffic in each of their first two trips to the plate but couldnít push anything across and the game stayed scoreless into the 3rd inning at Hobart-Detter Field in Hutchinson. In the 3rd the Saints finally broke through as Ben Wainwright and Johnny Griffith started the inning by reaching base and a Blue Dragon error following that scored both runs to make it 2-0. A Jake Barrios single later on in the inning added another run to make it 3-0 and the Saints held that advantage through the 5th inning as Keegan Hucul continued to keep the Dragon bats off balance. Hutchinson finally took the goose egg off their side of the board in the bottom of the 6th with a solo home run, but a strikeout by Hucul to end the inning left the tying run at the plate as the teams went to the 7th with the score 3-1. Seward could not add an insurance run in the top half of the 7th as they went down in order 1-2-3 to keep it a 3-1 game as Hutch came to the plate for their final at bats. Hucul wasted no time in getting the all-important first out of the 7th with a strikeout but walked the next batter to bring the tying run to the plate once again for Hutch. With the game on the line, Hucul induced a ground ball on his next pitch and the Saints defense took care of the rest, spinning a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning and the game with Seward coming out on top 3-1. The two teams combined for just 8 hits in the game as Hucul went the distance for Seward, allowing just 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 4 for the victory. Barrios had 2 of the 5 Saints hits in the game and also drove in a run while Tanner Rainey accounted for a pair of Seward runs with an RBI and a run scored.
GAME ONE BOX SCORE
Hits were once again hard to come by in the early going of game two of the double header and through 3 innings, a Tucker Cross single for Hutchinson was the only hit of the game in a scoreless battle. Seward picked up their first knocks of the ballgame as Barrios and Willy Gustin put together back to back singles in the top of the 4th with one out but a double play ball ended the threat and kept the Saints off the board. Strikeouts continued to pile up on both sides through the 5th inning and quickly the game went to the 6th still scoreless at 0-0. Rainey was the first Saints leadoff man to reach in the game in the top half of the 6th and it proved its importance as two batters later he came plateward after a Hutchinson error to break the tie and make it a 1-0 game in favor of Seward. Another Gustin single followed by a single from Carlos Dorado made it 2-0 Saints and with two outs sophomore catcher Sam Pack came up big with a 2 RBI double to make it 4-0 Seward County. Gavin Glanz continued his dominance of the Dragons in the bottom half of the inning with an unconventional 1-2-3 inning and worked around a pair of singles to start the Hutch 7th to keep the shutout intact as the Saints continued to lead 4-0 into the 8th. Sewardís offense couldnít add to the lead in their half of the 8th but it didnít matter as Glanz kept his foot on the pedal and worked out of a mess on just 9 total pitches in the bottom of the 8th to keep Seward in top 4-0. With one out in the top of the 9th the Saints offense slowly began to wake up. A single and a walk put two runners on and a Blue Dragon error loaded the bases. The Saints couldnít execute with one out to tack on a run but with two down in the frame a key Hutchinson error allowed Seward to score three runs to extend their lead to 7-0. With a low pitch count Glanz returned to the mound to try and finish the game for Seward and that he did. The big right hander saved his best for last, striking out a pair of Dragon hitters including one to end the game to finish the shutout and give the Saints the 7-0 win. Seward took advantage of 5 Hutchinson errors in the win while the Saints played a clean game defensively. Glanz went the distance for the second straight time for the Saints, notching a shutout and allowing just 7 hits without a walk while tying a career high with 8 strikeouts. Rainey and Gustin each finished with 2 hits for the Saints while Pack had a hit and a pair of RBIís in the win.
GAME TWO BOX SCORE
Seward got off to a good start on day two of the series and took a quick 1-0 lead in the 1st inning on a two out RBI single from Carlos Dorado. Hutchinson equaled their offense from the entire first day with a run in the bottom of the 1st to tie the game at 1 and that is where the game stood after 2 innings of play. The Saints retook the lead in the top half of the 3rd when Rainey led off with a double and scored after a pair of groundouts, including an RBI groundout from Barrios to make it 2-1. With two outs in the inning Gustin walked and got things going again, where he later scored on a single from Dorado to put the Saints on top 3-1. Hutch got a run back in the bottom half of the frame to cut the Seward lead to 3-2 and both teams went dormant through the middle innings to keep the score right there into the 6th. Kevin Domrzalski singled to start the Saints half of the 6th and scored later on in the inning after back to back Blue Dragon errors to make it 4-2 Seward. With a two run lead and just six outs left to get, the Saints looked like they were on their way to a win but Hutchinson fought back in a big way and got three straight hits to score two runs and tie the game at 4 in the bottom of the 6th. The Saints were quickly mowed down by Hutch closer Jordan James in the top of the 7th and a leadoff walk spelled trouble as the Dragons came to bat in the 7th. A sacrifice bunt put a runner on second with one out but a strikeout by Saints closer Johnny Griffith put the second out on the board. The Saints then intentionally walked slugging first baseman Grant Dunnegan and four straight balls to the next batter loaded the bases with two outs to set up the drama. With a 1-2 count on the batter, Griffith tried to throw a backdoor breaking ball for the punch-out but instead nicked the sleeve of the hitter to force home the game winning run to give the Dragons a 5-4 walkoff win. Dorado had a nice game for the Saints, going 2 for 4 with 2 RBIís while Steven Polito as well as Domrzalski each collected 2 hits in the defeat. Seward starter Tyler Wiedenfeld went 5 innings and allowed 8 hits and 4 runs and didnít factor in the decision while Griffith was pinned with the loss in his 1 2/3 innings of work.
GAME THREE BOX SCORE
In the same situation they were in one week before against Garden City, the Saint needed a win in the finale to take the series while their opponent, in this case the Dragons, needed a win to salvage a split. For the first time in the series, Hutchinson drew first blood, taking advantage of a Saints defensive miscue to go ahead 1-0 in the 2nd inning. The Dragons gave the run right back to Seward in the top half of the 3rd with an error of their own and after 3 complete it was 1-1. Seward picked up a pair of singles in the top of the 4th but couldnít push the go ahead run across while Saints started TJ Looney kept the Dragons at bay in the Hutch half of the 4th to keep the game tied at 1. The Saints broke the tie in a loud way in the 5th inning as Rainey and Polito singled to start the frame and Barrios was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. Gustin then came up big with a single to score two to break the tie and after Dorado was hit by a pitch Domrzalski doubled to the gap to score two more to make it 5-1 Seward still with nobody out in the inning. The Saints hit parade continued as Pack laced a double to score another run and following a single by Ben Wainwright, a passed ball plated another to make it 8-1. Seward batted around in the inning without an out to take the 8-1 lead after the inning was complete. Looney had some trouble coming off of the long break and his first 7 pitches of the 5th missed their mark. A talk by Saints Head Coach Galen McSpadden straightened things up and he retired the next three hitters in order to keep it an 8-1 game. Seward added to their lead with an RBI single from Barrios in the 7th with two outs to make it 9-1 and Looney did the rest. The freshman righty learned from Glanz from day one and saved his best for last, retiring 9 of the final 10 hitters he saw including a pair via strikeout in the 9th to give the Saints the 9-1 win on the Seward rotations third complete game of the series. Looney was spectacular, going all 9 innings, allowing just 4 hits and 1 run while striking out a career high 8 in the victory. The Saints pounded out 17 hits in the win as every starter had at least one hit and 6 of the 9 has 2 or more knocks in the game. Wainwright and Polito each had 3 hits for Seward while Barrios, Domrzalski, and Pack each had 2 hits and 2 RBIís in the win.
GAME FOUR BOX SCORE
The series win puts Seward back over the .500 mark on the season and puts them in prime position in the race for hosting a Sub-Regional in the Region VI Tournament. Seward is now 14-6 in Region VI action which at weekendís end puts them a full three games up on Colby and Garden City who are tied for second. In the Jayhawk West race the Saints move to the top of the standings with a 15-9 mark where they are tied with Garden City and are one game ahead of Colby and Hutchinson.
Next up for the Saints is a midweek non-conference game against Clarendon on Wednesday before jumping back into Jayhawk West action this weekend at Brent Gould Field against the Pratt Beavers on Saturday and Sunday.