The Seward County Community College baseball team split a Jayhawk West Conference doubleheader against Garden City Community College on Wednesday afternoon at Williams Stadium in Garden City. SCCC freshman Tomas Cruz pitched 5.1 innings of relief to help lead the Saints in a 7-3 victory in game-two, after entering the game in the second inning with the bases loaded and two outs. Seward County was defeated by the Broncbusters in game-one, 8-3. The Saints are now 19-15 overall and 6-4 in the Jayhawk West, while Garden City is now 19-11 overall and 5-3 in conference competition.

Saints head coach Galen McSpadden pulled game-two starting pitcher Jordan Knight in the second inning of game-two, after Knight allowed five walks to five of the six batters he faced in the inning. The Saints led 3-1 when Cruz entered the game with the bases loaded, but the Amarillo native didnít buckle under the pressure striking out Garden City shortstop Brycen Bell on a 1-2 pitch to get the Saints out of the jam.

The Saints grabbed the early lead on a RBI single by freshman catcher Luke Hardcastle and with a two-run home run by sophomore right fielder Erik Hegstad, his sixth homer of the season.

Cruz then settled into the game and was dominating facing only three batters in each of the next four innings. Garden City finally got to Cruz in the seventh inning scoring two runs, but Cruz finished the seventh inning by striking out three Broncbuster batters. Cruz allowed three hits, two runs and one walk with five strikeouts in the game.

The Saints were led offensively by Hegstad (2-for-3, three runs and three RBI) and catcher Brock Gifford (2-for-3).

In game-one, the Saints and Broncbuster each collected nine base hits, but Garden City took advantage of scoring base runners with the Saints leaving 10 runners on base. Seward left the bases loaded in the first inning and stranded a total of four runners in scoring position during the game.

Garden City scored early and often with two runs in the first and second, a run in the third inning and three runs in the fourth, taking an 8-2 lead after four innings. The Saints pushed one additional run across with a RBI single by freshman shortstop Austin Roff in the seventh inning.

Seward County freshman first baseman Erik Hansen went 3-for-3 and Hegstad went 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI. Hegstad has been on fire since the Saints returned from Phoenix, where in the last four games he is a combined 8-for-13 with eight runs scored, four home runs and 10 RBI.

The Saints next opponent will be Barton County Community College on Saturday, Mar. 31 at 1 p.m. for Jayhawk West Conference doubleheader at Brent Gould Field in Liberal.