T-Birds fall in final two games of the regular season to Dodge City

T-Birds fall in final two games of the regular season to Dodge City

DODGE CITY, Kansas — With its playoff positioning already set, the Cloud County Community College baseball team was a little flat in its regular season finales against Dodge City Community College on Saturday, falling by the final scores of 11-0 and 16-12.

Cloud County (26-24 overall, 16-16 KJCCC) finishes fifth in the KJCCC West standings and will begin a best-of-three series against the KJCCC East No. 4 seed Johnson County (34-20 overall, 19-17 KJCCC) on Friday.

"I told the guys (Saturday) that if we play like that against Johnson County, it's going to be a quick two games. We simply can't play like that and expect to have any success," said Cloud County head coach, Eric Gilliland. "Bad pitching and bad defense is not a good recipe."

After an all-around rough start to the afternoon in Game Three, falling 11-0 in five innings, the T-Birds were able to take some positives away from Game Two as the offense produced 12 runs on 17 hits.

Sophomore outfielder Matt Bondarchuk, the all-time hits leader in Cloud County baseball history, and fellow sophomore Ryan Krolikowski each collected three-hit days.

Krolikowski finished with four runs driven in and his sixth home run of the season; one of three home runs hit in the game by Cloud County.

Sophomores Erik Sabrowski and Trae McDaniel each homered in Game Four, as well. For Sabrowski, his two-run shot was his team-leading 10th of the season, while McDaniel's solo shot in the seventh inning was his first of 2017-18.

Freshmen Kade Wallace and Grant Schmidt each added two hits apiece in Game Four starts, as well.

"I challenged our hitters after Game Three, which was frustrating all the way around, so it was nice to see some guys get back going offensively as we head into the postseason," Gilliland said.

McDaniel's home run sparked a three-run seventh for the T-Birds — the other two coming on a two-run double by sophomore Preston Allerheiligen — that got them within two runs at 10-8. Unfortunately, Dodge City answered with six in the home-half of the frame to put the game away.

Cloud County will now turn its attention toward the Region VI playoffs and a showdown with Johnson County Community College, starting on Friday with the first nine-inning game of the series.

"We've shown flashes this season of team that can be really good," Gilliland said. "We'll have a week to prepare for Johnson County, which is a traditional power in this league, so I'm sure it will have high caliber players. Going on the road in the postseason is always tough… The good news is we get to start a fresh new season right now going into the postseason."