Cloud County falls 3-1 in series against No. 12 ranked Hutchinson

Sophomore right fielder Jacob Grady scores a run
Sophomore right fielder Jacob Grady scores a run

CONCORDIA, Kansas —  The Cloud County Community College baseball team continued its Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ways during conference play over the weekend, dropping three of four to No. 12 ranked Hutchinson Community College.  

The T-Birds (12-16 overall, 2-10 KJCCC West) played good baseball in a doubleheader split on Saturday against the Blue Dragons (20-6 overall, 9-3 KJCCC), bouncing back from a tough 10-8 loss in extras innings to begin the day to win 5-4 in Game Two.

Cloud couldn't repeat the performance as Hutch notched a pair of decisive wins, 10-2 and 26-6, on Sunday.

"We had a really good outing on Saturday. Basically went toe-to-toe with the No. 12 team in the country," said Cloud County head coach, Eric Gilliland. "Then (Sunday) was the opposite. We were really bad today."

In Game One, Cloud County smashed four home runs, including two off the bat of freshman third baseman Tauren Langley.

Langley's first homer was a two-run shot in the first inning to give the T-Birds a 2-1 lead. He and sophomore Jacob Grady went back-to-back in the fifth inning as Grady drilled a two-run shot that scored Ryan Simons and Langley followed with a bomb on an 0-2 pitch that gave Cloud County a 5-3 lead.

Hutchinson responded with two runs in the top of the sixth. And after Cloud again took a two-run lead in the home-half of the sixth, this time on a two-run single by freshman Matt Bondarchuk, the Blue Dragons again answered with a pair of runs of their own to force extra innings.

Cloud County had chances for a walk-off win in the seventh and eighth innings with runners on third and less than one out, but couldn't deliver the big at-bat. Hutchinson put the game away with a 3-run ninth inning to hold on for the 10-8 win.

Cloud County bounced back in Game Two to win 5-4 behind a strong start from freshman Patrick Rosborough.

Rosborough pitched a seven-inning complete game, scattered seven hits and struck out seven. He had one hiccup — a four-run fourth inning by Hutchinson that tied the game at 4-4 — but held the Blue Dragons at bay the rest of the way.

Cloud County scored what proved to be the game-winning run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a two-out RBI single by Simons.

"We had incredible focus Saturday. We had multiple opportunities to win Game One, didn't get it done, but credit to our guys for coming back in Game Two," Gilliland said. "We got an outstanding start from Patrick Rosborough and came back to get a win in what could have been a letdown game after an emotional Game One."

The T-Birds were unable to carry that momentum into Sunday's doubleheader, falling 10-2 and 26-6 in games dictated by Hutchinson for the early going.

"It almost feels like we spent every ounce of energy we had on Day One. We came out here (Sunday) and really got nothing out of it," Gilliland said. "It started with bad starting pitching and we don't have the pitching depth, especially when we get behind on Day Two with short starts, to stay in games against teams that can swing the bats like Hutchinson can."

Grady continued to swing a hot bat Sunday as he hit his second home run of the weekend in the first inning of Game Three and drilled a RBI double off the left-field fence in Game Four.

Redshirt freshman Mason Fast collected his first hit of 2017 in fine fashion as he hammered a pinch-hit home run to left-center in the seventh inning.

Cloud County will have a week off before returning to KJCCC West action on the road against Pratt Community College on March 25-26. Doubleheader game times are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

"We had a really good outing on Saturday. Basically went toe-to-toe with the No. 12 team in the country," said Cloud County head coach, Eric Gilliland. "Then (Sunday) was the opposite. We were really bad today."