PITCHING IS STRONG IN BLUE DRAGON SPLIT WITH DODGE CITYMarch 5, 2013
HCC Sports Information
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Hutchinson Community College pitching staff limited Dodge City to nine combined hits, but the Blue Dragons could only manage a split in the wrap-up Jayhawk West doubleheader with Dodge City on Monday at Jim Wade Stadium on the campus of Oklahoma City University.
Sophomore left-hander Christian Cox returned after missing 16 days because of injury to toss five innings of two-hit shutout baseball, but Hutchinson needed extra innings to defeat the Conquistadors 2-1 in eight innings.
The bullpen dazzled in Game two with James Watkins and Jean Acevedo throwing 4 2-3 combined innings of hitless relief, but Dodge City made a two-run second inning stand up in a 2-1 victory over the Blue Dragons.
The Blue Dragons (3-3 overall) and Dodge City (7-5) split their season-opening Jayhawk West series 2-2.
GAME 1 RECAP – Hutchinson 2, Dodge City 1
Hutchinson tried to win a game 1-0 for the third time in two seasons, but Dodge City got a one-out single from pinch-hitter Connor Koepp to tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the seventh.
The Blue Dragons finally won the first game of a doubleheader in extra innings on Monday when Freshman Brooks DeBord delivered a two-out single to score pinch-runner Quintin Crandal with the game-winning run and a 2-1 victory.
That hit completed a three-hit game for DeBord, who went 3 for 4.
Playing in a game since running into the Rose State outfield wall in the season opener on February 16, Cox was strong in his first pitching performance of the 2013 season.
Cox, who had a no decision, allowed only two hits, no runs and two walks while striking out five in five innings pitched. His first start of the season started a bit shaky as Dodge City leadoff hitter Haden Houska doubled, but Nick Comito lined into a double play. Cox then had to work through a single and error, but stranded two on base.
After that, only three baserunners reached base on Cox after that, including working a perfect fifth inning.
Closer Zach Eden (1-0) ended up blowing the save in the seventh, but worked a perfect eighth inning to earn his first career Blue Dragon victory. Eden struck out six in three innings pitched. He allowed two hits and one earned run.
The Blue Dragons took a 1-0 lead in the second inning Jacob Ek singled up the middle to score Gordon Guild. The inning could have been bigger but Ek was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a Justin Harris base hit.
Still working through getting the offense started from two weeks away from games because of winter weather, the Blue Dragons out-hit Dodge City 6-4 in Game 1. HCC had two errors to Dodge City’s one. HCC left four runners on base, Dodge City stranded six.
Harris, Ek and first baseman Matt Sutcliffe each had hits for the Blue Dragons.
GAME 2 RECAP – Dodge City 2, Hutchinson 1
Dodge City made a two-run second inning stand up to force a split of Monday’s doubleheader and the series. The Blue Dragons couldn’t come up with the big hits after stranding nine runners on base.
The Conquistadors scored two second inning runs off HCC starter Josh Markel (0-1) and then chased the HCC starter one out into the third inning. That’s where the bullpen did its job.
After back-to-back hits with one out surrendered by Markel, Watkins came in and slammed the door on the Conquistadors, who stranded three runners on base without a run scored.
Watkins then allowed a walk and hit a batter to start the fourth and sophomore left-handed Jean Acevedo blanked Dodge City over the next 3 2-3 innings. Acevedo struck out six and walked two, but didn’t allow a hit.
Crandal and right fielder Josh Kunzmann both went 2 for 3 to lead HCC’s seven-hit attack. Harris, B.B. Kimbrel and Sutcliffe had the other HCC hits.
The Blue Dragons finally cracked through on Dodge City starter Walker Rainwater in the fourth when Kunzmann singled with two outs to score Crandal. HCC got the tying run on base in the fifth and sixth, but Dodge City’s Sam Brunner worked a perfect seventh to close out the game.
Hutchinson’s newly scheduled home opener will be at 1 p.m. on Thursday against Rose State College at Hobart-Detter Field.