FORT SCOTT – Six-run innings would be the story of the day as the Cloud County Community College baseball team would allow a six-run bottom of the sixth in a 9-7 loss before erupting for six runs in the top of the first in game two to earn a 13-3 victory and split a road doubleheader against Fort Scott Community College at the LaRoche Baseball Complex in Fort Scott on Friday.
With the split, the T-Birds finish off their opening week of play with a 1-2 overall record while the Greyhounds take the series in their season-opening week to improve to 2-1 overall.
Cloud County would waste no time getting on the board in Friday's opener as Jaden Parsons would hit a one-out triple before being driven in on an Ian Riley single to give CCCC an early lead over the Greyhounds. T-Bird starting pitcher Kolby Dougan would then hold Fort Scott scoreless in each of the first two innings as Cloud County would be unable to add to their lead in the second to keep the score at a 1-0 lead in favor of the T-Birds.
After a one-two-three top of the third by CCCC, the Greyhounds would manage to put together a two-out rally in the bottom half of the inning by putting their third runner of the game aboard for two-hole batter Jakob Machuca who would blast a two-run homer to give Fort Scott their first lead of the day.
In the top of the fourth, Cloud County would see each of the first four batters of the inning reach base as Garrett Redden and Williams Camacho-Soto would both single while Trevor Stevens and Jack Correll would reach base by being hit-by-pitches. Camacho-Soto's single would drive in Redden to tie things up at 2-2 as the two-on, no-out situation would be limited to just the one run in the inning.
A one-out solo home run by Fort Scott would allow the Greyhounds to take the lead once more before heading to the fifth inning, but CCCC would finally break through for a crooked number as the T-Birds would take advantage of four walks and a hit batter in the top of the fifth to put up three runs and grab a 5-3 lead.
Dougan would then be relieved on the mound after giving up a one-out double as Javier Cruz would be asked to try and get out of a potential jam and keep CCCC on top. The Grand Island, Nebraska native would do just that by giving up a single to the first batter he faced before getting a strikeout and groundout to end the inning and keep the lead at two for Cloud County.
Back-to-back singles by Noah Olson and Parsons to lead off the top of the sixth would put two on with no outs for the T-Birds as CCCC would add a pair of insurance runs to take their largest lead of the game at 7-3. Things would fall apart for Cloud County in the bottom of the sixth however as a leadoff home run for Fort Scott would be part of a six-run burst as the Greyhounds would take advantage of six hits and two walks to go up 9-7 heading to the seventh and final inning. Needing two runs to extend the game, the T-Birds would see Willie Ponce draw a leadoff walk before back-to-back strikeouts and a flyout ended the game.
Finishing with a game-high three hits, Parsons would also score three of Cloud County's seven runs in the contest as CCCC's top four batters in the lineup accounted for seven of their eight hits. Redden would be the lone other T-Bird with multiple hits while Camacho-Soto would drive in two as part of a one-for-three effort at the plate.
Dougan would finish the game by throwing 4.1 innings and allowing three runs on three hits and striking out four on 71 total pitches. Cruz would throw just over an inning, tossing 1.1 innings and allowing two runs on four hits while Sanders would finish off the game and take the loss after giving up two runs in one-third inning of work.
The offense would come alive in a big way in game two as the T-Birds would see six of the first seven batters they would send to the plate collect a hit as part of a 10-batter, six-run top of the first inning. Fort Scott would get a run back in the bottom of the first before seeing a scoreless second inning keep things at a 6-1 CCCC lead going to the third.
Cloud County would then be retired in order in the top of the third as the Greyhounds would add a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to get back within three heading to the fourth. Neither team would see any runs come across in the fourth, but the T-Bird would get the two runs they surrendered in the second back on a two-run fifth inning thanks in part to a dropped third strike, two walks, and two hits in the inning. Another insurance run would be added in the top of the sixth by Cloud County as CCCC would then tack on four runs in the seventh for good measure to run away with the 10-run victory.
Correll would finish the game with three hits in four at-bats with two RBI and one run scored while Riley would drive in three and score twice. Three of Cloud County's 10 hits in the game would go for extra-bases while also drawing eight walks to only five strikeouts.
Three pitchers would combine in on the victory as Aaron Hayes would go three innings in a starting role and strikeout four while giving up three runs on two hits while Jarod Leroux and Patrick Kennedy would throw the final four innings of work and not give up a single run. As a staff, CCCC would strikeout nine in the contest and limit the Greyhounds to just four hits after giving up a combined 16 in the first two games of the series.
Cloud County is set to make their longest road trip of the year next weekend as the T-Birds will travel to Weatherford, Texas, to take on Weatherford College and Galveston College beginning on Thursday.