FORT SCOTT, Kan. — The Cloud County Community College baseball team rallied from a heartbreaking Game One loss to Fort Scott Community College on Wednesday to force a split of its 2019 season-opening series.
Cloud County (1-1 overall) was able to brush off a tough 11-10 loss in the opener with a five-inning, 15-4 rout in Game Two, producing 10 hits and capitalizing on four Fort Scott (1-1 overall) fielding errors.
“I think that’s the type of team we’re going to have to be,” said Cloud County head coach Eric Gilliland of his team’s bounce-back performance. “The offense was really, really scrappy and was looking to take extra bases. It was just a really productive game at the plate coupled with a good start from Tylor Jans.”
Jans worked three innings in his collegiate debut, limiting Fort Scott to a run on four hits with five strike outs.
Offensively, Cloud County scored at least one run in every inning but the first, highlighted by a nine-run top of the fifth.
Sophomore designated hitter Jackson Dietel, who was strictly a left-handed pitcher a season ago, had an impressive offensive debut as he led the team with a three-hit performance (3-for-4) in Game Two. Dietel batted .345 with four home runs as a senior in high school.
Freshman outfielder Clayton Loranger and redshirt freshman Ramon Vingochea each added multi-hit games as well with two hits apiece, as well, while first baseman Kade Wallace was a menace on the basepaths, finishing 1-for-1 with three runs score in Game Two and 2-for-3 with four walks total on the afternoon.
Wallace was one of five Cloud County players to reach base four or more times Wednesday, joining Dietel, freshmen infielders Connor Laux (4-for-7, two walks), Davis Pratt (2-for-4, two walks), and freshman catcher Griffin Larsen, who was 3-for-5 with two walks his first career home run in Game One.
Larsen’s laser to left field kicked off a four-run fourth inning for Cloud County, giving the T-Birds a 5-4 lead. They’d extend it to 7-4 advantage with two more runs in the top of the sixth before a nightmare six-run sixth inning for Fort Scott put the Greyhounds back on top, 10-7.
Cloud County didn’t go away quietly as it produced three runs in the top of the seventh, pulling even on a Laux double that scored Dietel.
Unfortunately for the T-Birds, they had their Game One rally fall halted there as Fort Scott’s Hampton Hall hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh.
“I thought we played hard, took pretty good care of the baseball and aside from the bullpen blow up in Game One, we played pretty well (in Game One),” Gilliland said. “Fort Scott is a good baseball team with a physical offense.”
A total of six home runs were hit in Game One between the two teams on a windy afternoon in east Kansas.
Sophomore right-hander Austen Seidel, an early signee to Wichita State University, was solid in his 2019 debut as he pitched five innings, allowing four runs on five hits while striking out nine.
“Austen was excellent, super sharp with his three pitches. Just had a couple mistakes on a windy day,” Gilliland.
Following its twin bill on Wednesday, the T-Birds immediately hit the road toward Edmund, Oklahoma. Cloud County is set to play three games over the next two days at Wendell Simmons Baseball field on the University of Central Oklahoma campus.