T-Birds weather the Storm, earn 14-11 win over Southeast Community College

Sophomore pitcher David Johns
Sophomore pitcher David Johns

CONCORDIA, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College baseball team kicked off its five-game home stand with a 14-11 victory over Southeast Community College on Wednesday.

Cloud County (11-13 overall, 1-7 KJCCC) churned out a season-high 17 hits in the victory; the most for a T-Birds' team since April 3, 2015 when they produced 20 in a 13-10 win over Pratt Community College.

"It was a little bit of everything," said Cloud County head coach, Eric Gilliland. "We hit the ball hard at times. We hit it where they weren't at times. And they (Storm) made some mistakes that we took advantage of it."

Sophomore catcher Garrett Graveline, and freshmen Ryan Simons and Ryan Krolikowski all finished with three hits apiece to lead the T-Birds' lineup, which had eight different players record at least one hit on Wednesday.

Cloud County broke the game open, initially, with a nine-run fifth inning that turned a 3-1 deficit into a 10-3 lead. The T-Birds led by as many as 10 runs at 13-3 at the end of the sixth.

Graveline had a pair of RBI knocks. Krolikowski added three RBI and three runs scored, including a solo home run in the seventh inning that swung momentum back in Cloud County's favor at 14-11 after Southeast Community College put up eight runs in the top of the frame to crawl back in the game.

Sophomore infielder Gabriel Jacobo and freshman third baseman Tauren Langley each chipped in three RBI, as well.

On the mound, sophomore right-handed pitcher David Johns was solid in his first career start as he went five workmanlike innings, allowing three runs on five hits and striking out four.

"We weren't expecting to get five innings from him, but he had them (Storm) off-balance," Gilliland said. "He did an awesome job, gave us a quality start and a lead when he left."

Johns earned the win, evening his record to 1-1 this season.

Cloud County will jump back into KJCCC West action this weekend when it hosts Hutchinson Community College Saturday and Sunday. Doubleheader game times are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day.

"It doesn't get any easier with Hutchinson. We open conference play with a gauntlet," Gilliland said. "But I like the baseball that we're playing. I think we can compete and put ourselves in position to win some games."