The doubleheader lasted just over two hours and 45 minutes, partly because of Tomas Cruz’ seven-inning complete game shutout helping the Seward County Community College baseball team to a 1-0 victory in game-one against Cloud County Community College on Sunday afternoon at Brent Gould Field in Liberal. The final doubleheader of the conference series also didn’t last long due to game temperatures that ranged from 35-39 degrees, with a wind-chill of 27 degrees during much of the afternoon. The Thunderbirds rallied in game-two to claim their only victory of the series, 2-1. Seward County is now 11-11 overall and 5-3 in the Jayhawk West. Cloud County remains in last place in the Jayhawk West with a 2-10 league record and a 4-20 overall mark.

Cruz was impressive in his second complete game shutout of the season. The 5-foot-10 right-handed pitcher threw a two-hitter, allowing just one walk with a career-high 10 strikeouts. Cruz improves to 4-2 on the mound this season with a 1.53 earned run average while pitching 29.1 innings. He leads the team with 30 strikeouts and has issued just two walks.

Cloud County recorded a single in the third inning and a single in the fourth inning, with only one base runner reaching second base. Cruz needed only 74 pitches (53 strikes) and 57 minutes to finish off the T-Birds in the 1-0 victory.

The Saints only run came in the third inning when sophomore Erik Hansen led off the inning with a double to left field and then later scored on a sacrifice fly by center fielder Keegan Morrow. Both teams combined for five hits in the opening game.

Cloud County starter Josh Wise was the hard-luck losing pitcher tossing six innings and allowing three hits, one run and two walks.

The nightcap went to the T-Birds as they scored a run on two hits in the third inning and then capitalized on an unearned run in the seventh inning. The Saints were able to tie the score in the sixth inning as sophomore right fielder Michael Drzazga collected a RBI single to right field to score Caleb Nine, who started the inning with a single to right field.

After an infield error by the Saints allowed Cloud County to take the lead in the top of the seventh, the Saints’ rally was ended with back-to-back infield outs with the bases loaded in the home half of the seventh inning.

Saints’ starting left-handed pitcher Austin Terhune received the no-decision after pitching five innings and allowing three hits and one run with two strikeouts. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Tyler Binkley was the losing pitcher allowing two hits, one unearned run and collecting three strikeouts.

Morrow went 2-for-3 in game-two and was the only player in the doubleheader to record a multi-hit game. Morrow is batting .500 (13-for-26) in eight Jayhawk West games this season.

Seward County will finish its eight-game home stand with a four game non-conference series on March 18-19, hosting Rose State College (6-12) at Brent Gould Field. Rose State enters the non-conference series against the Saints with a six-game losing streak. The Saints and Raiders are scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch on both Tuesday and Wednesday.