LIBERAL, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College baseball team swept Saturday's road doubleheader against Seward County Community College, rolling to a 13-1 victory in Game One and surviving a late scare in an 11-10 win in Game Two, to give the T-Birds back-to-back KJCCC West series victories.
Cloud County (14-13 overall, 9-7 KJCCC), which swept Pratt Community College last week, has now won seven of its last eight games and have climbed up to fourth place in the KJCCC West standings.
"It was a fun day and we played well in all facets," said Cloud County head coach, Eric Gilliland. "You take out one bad half-inning, and I thought it was as good as we've played since the Fort Scott series to begin the year. We feel like we're hitting our stride a little bit and getting things going the way we had envisioned it from the beginning of the season."
It didn't appear that late-inning drama would be necessary in Game Two as the T-Birds came out swinging. Cloud Count went up 2-0 in the first inning on a two-run single by sophomore catcher Dario DeSantis, who was 2-for-5 with 3 RBI in Game Two.
Cloud County's lead grew to 8-0 with a four-run fifth inning, highlighted by a monster three-run home run to left by sophomore shortstop Aidan Huggins.
On the mound, freshman Jordan Alexander cruised through the first four innings in his first start of the season, limiting Seward County (16-15, 4-8 KJCCC) to two hits while striking out seven.
But the Saints punched back in the bottom of the fifth with seven runs to make it a game again at 8-7.
Sophomore right-hander Koby Spicer was able to get Cloud County back to the dugout with the lead by inducing a groundout. Spicer, who picked up the win in Game Two, was solid out of the pen in neutralizing Seward County's momentum. He finished with 2.2 innings of work and allowed just two hits.
Cloud County added three insurance runs in the top of the eighth inning on a two-run single by sophomore Ryan Simons and an RBI groundout from sophomore Matt Bondarchuk, who led all Cloud players with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate in the series finale.
Seward County would not go quietly, though, as the Saints answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Saints then put two runners on in the bottom of the ninth with only one out before sophomore right-hander Jacob Uhing was able to slam the door by inducing back-to-back fly outs.
For Uhing, who pitched 1.1 scoreless innings of relief, it was his first save of the season.
"Seward County came back and scrapped its way back into that game. But Koby Spicer was able to come in and take the air out of (the Saints) for a couple innings," Gilliland said. "Then Jacob Uhing come in and did a great job finishing that game. He got some really big outs through the heart of their order."
No such late-inning drama in Game One as Cloud County thoroughly dominated the Saints, cranking out 12 hits in an abbreviated 13-1 victory in five innings.
All nine Cloud County starters recorded at least one hit and six players drove in runs, led by Sabrowski's 3-for-4 performance with 4 RBI and his sixth home run of the season.
Freshman right fielder Ed Scott, Simons and Bondarchuk each drove in two runs in Game One, while Huggins finished 2-for-3, making him 4-for-8 on the day as whole.
Freshman right-hander Austen Seidel (2-0) picked up his second straight win with five strong innings of work, limiting the Saints to one run on three hits while striking out seven.
"Game One was about as well as we've swung the bats in a long time. And they weren't cheap hits, we were hitting the ball hard all over the place and it was fun to watch," Gilliland said. "That was about as well as we can play. Austen threw the ball really well again and we swung the bats for him to give him run support."
Up next for the T-Birds will be a tough test in Colby Community College (18-12 overall, 9-3 KJCCC), which currently is tied atop the KJCCC West standings with Barton. The four-game series gets underway at 1 p.m. Thursday with a doubleheader in Concordia.