DODGE CITY – Quick starts by the Cloud County Community College baseball team would lead to only a Saturday afternoon split with Dodge City Community College as the T-Birds would win 13-10 in seven-innings before being walked off by the Conquistadors 13-12 in game two at Cavalier Field.
The win in game one allowed CCCC to take three of four from DCCC as Cloud County is now 28-17 overall and 17-11 in Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference play. Dodge City is now 20-25 overall and 7-21 in the KJCCC while snapping a five-game skid.
A potent offensive outing would get going right away in the top of the first as the T-Birds would jump out to a 4-0 lead on six hits including a Noah Olson two-run homer, Kayden Beauregard RBI double, and Brock Hillebert fielder's choice. After allowing Dodge City to get one run back in the bottom of the first, CCCC would use a Jaden Parsons one-out single and Olson RBI double to get the run back as the score would sit at 5-1 after two innings of play.
Another single run in the top of the third would come courtesy of an Adler Pierson RBI single to score Garrett Redden as CCCC would a 6-1 lead. DCCCC would use a leadoff triple in their half of the third followed by an RBI double to get the run back and trail by four heading to the fourth where Cloud County would be held scoreless for the first time in the game while stranding one runner.
The Conquistador offense would take the momentum of a scoreless top of the fourth and use it to their advantage as a two-out rally would allow Dodge City to plate a run on an RBI single before back-to-back home runs would bring home three more runs to tie the game at 6-6 and force a T-Bird pitching change. CCCC would manage to get out of the inning on the next batter with a strikeout looking, but the damage would already be done as the game would be tied 6-6 heading to the fifth.
Neither team would be able to produce any offense in the fifth inning as the final two innings would get back to the high-powered offenses that were seen in the first four innings of play. Cloud County would make the most of a one-out double from leadoff hitter Ian Riley to spark what would wind up becoming a six-run top of the sixth as the next six batters of the inning would safely reach base. Following RBI singles from Parsons and Williams Camacho-Soto, the big blow would come courtesy of
Beauregard as the freshman would hit a two-RBI triple before coming around to score on a Redden RBI single. Jose Luna would drive home the final run of the inning with a double to left-center field as the game would be broken open again.
Getting through the final inning and a half would not come easy however for the T-Birds as Dodge City would get a run off of a leadoff double before coming around to score on a wild pitch before hitting another home run that would push across two more runs and cut the Cloud County lead in half to 12-9. A hit batter RBI double would then make it a 12-10 contest as CCCC would finally manage to get out of the inning with a lead still intact.
Adding an insurance run on a Camacho-Soto RBI double in the top of the seventh, Cloud County would turn things over to reliever Connor Woods who would get a strikeout and game-ending double play after issuing a one-out walk to earn his first save of the year.
In addition to a three-RBI effort from Beauregard, the T-Birds would be led by a four-for-four outing from Olson who would finish just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle while also hitting two doubles and getting intentionally walked once. Eight different players would drive in a run for CCCC while eight of the nine starters would collect at least one hit.
Getting the win in relief on the mound would be Javier Cruz with a 1.1 inning outing that saw the Grand Island, Nebraska native strike out three and allow just one hit. As a staff, Cloud County would record eight strikeouts with Carl Aikman and Rans Sanders (two each) accounting for four of the remaining five.
Using a similar start to game one, CCCC would push across four runs on five hits and an error in the top of the first of game two as eight batters would be sent to the plate with Willie Ponce knocking in the final two runs of the inning with a two-out triple. A solo home run from Riley in the top of the second would then make it a 5-0 T-Bird lead as the Austin, Texas native would add a second home run in his next at-bat to make it 6-0 Cloud County after four innings of play.
The offense would continue to produce in the fifth as a Redden two-run home run would make it 8-0 T-Birds before the Conquistadors would finally figure out a way on to the scoreboard with two solo home runs in the bottom half of the inning to get back within six. Another long ball for CCCC in the top of the sixth would come off the bat of Jaden Parsons to make it a 9-2 lead for Cloud County, but it would be short lived as a two-RBI single and two-run homer on back-to-back at-bats would produce four of Dodge City's five runs in the bottom of the sixth to make it 9-7 heading to the seventh.
Cloud County would go down in order for the first time in the game in their next opportunity at the plate as the shift in momentum would continue with DCCC taking their first lead of the afternoon with a three-run bottom of the seventh. Two stranded base runners for the T-Birds in the top of the eighth would loom large as Dodge City would add an insurance run to go up two runs heading to the ninth as an 11-9 deficit was staring down Cloud County with just three outs to work with.
Needing a rally, Cloud County would get an infield single from Olson before Camacho-Soto would be hit on the first pitch of his at-bat to bring up Beauregard. Putting a drive into a pitch to right field, Beauregard would have just what CCCC needed with a three-run blast to put Cloud County up 12-11 as the T-Bird offense would continue to set up a bases-loaded situation with two outs. DCCC would manage to escape without any more damage however as a strikeout would end the inning and give the T-Birds just a one-run lead to try and protect.
Three batters are all that would make it to the plate in the bottom of the ninth as a leadoff infield single and walk would put the game-winning run on first for the Conquistadors with no outs. A double to the right-center field gap would then find its way all the way to the outfield wall as both runners would come around to score and give DCCC the walk-off victory.
Offense once again would be clicking as the T-Birds would outhit the Conquistadors 14-11 but end up stranding eight base runners compared to just one for Dodge City. Three-hit performances from Riley and Redden would lead the way as nine of the 14 hits would go for extra-bases including five home runs.
A quality start from freshman Christian Womble would lead to a no-decision as the Pittsfield, Massachusetts native would go 5.1 innings and allow four runs on three hits while striking out four. Four other pitchers would wind up throwing the final 2.2 innings for the T-Birds as six walks and four wild pitches would play a role in the defeat for CCCC.
Cloud County will play their regular-season non-conference finale on Tuesday with a 2 p.m., nine-inning game against Highland Community College at Lee Doyen Field in Concordia. Highland will enter Tuesday's game with an 8-28 overall record after dropping the last three games of this past weekend's series with Neosho.