Red Devils win ‘bailout’ games

Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Putting down a sacrifice bunt is Bretton Ater (5) for Allen County Community College’s Red Devils. The bunt moved a runner who later scored the first run of the game against Neosho County Community College Tuesday. Allen County defeated the visitors from Chanute 5-4 and 7-2 to wrap up regular season action.

Allen County Community College head baseball coach Val McLean gave a ballpark guess of 20.000 gallons of water was removed from Red Devil Field Monday and Tuesday.
The Red Devil players and coaches “bailed it out” with five-gallon buckets, cups and pumps. They worked Monday morning, Monday night to 11 o’clock under the lights and Tuesday morning to remove the water so they could play their last two Jayhawk Eastern Division games of the season.
“The games meant something and when you put that much time and effort into the field, you’re going to play,” McLean said.
Tuesday’s doubleheader against Neosho County Community College’s Panthers turned out not as big as they could have been. Johnson County won both of its games against Coffeyville. If Johnson County had lost and Allen County won Tuesday, the Red Devils could have been in second place.
As it turned out, Johnson County stayed in second and Allen County stayed in third place in the Jayhawk Eastern Division. The Red Devils could not afford to drop two games to the visiting Panthers or the Red Devils would drop to fourth.
Allen County bounced the Panthers 5-4 and 7-2 Tuesday. The Red Devils finished 25-11 in conference play and 33-15 overall.
The non-conference games slated for today against Longview Community College were canceled.
“There’s another big weather front expected and we need to rest for the playoffs. The guys went out and played well Tuesday,” McLean said.
Allen County hosts a Region VI best-of-three playoff series this weekend. Seward County of Liberal comes to Iola for the playoffs. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. on Red Devil Field.
The Red Devils have won 12 straight games. They used their top two pitchers — Jake Hosey and Brandon Faulkner — in Tuesday’s contests.
“They were on a strict pitch count. We wanted them to get some work in but not to throw them too much. They’ll be ready for Saturday now,” McLean said.
“Jake and Brandon pitched very well and are among the top pitchers in the state. As a team, we’ve been playing very well.”
In the opener against the Panthers, Hosey worked four innings, giving up three hits, walking one, hitting two batters and striking out six. He did not surrender a run.
Ben Rister came on in relief and allowed four runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings. Zach Dodson came in with one on and two out in the sixth to get the last out. John Michael Moore picked up a save pitching the seventh inning, allowing one hit and striking one out.
Allen County got on the scoreboard in the third. Wyatt Hall reached on an error and moved around on a sacrifice bunt and groundout. Dillon Hazlett doubled home the run.
In the fourth, Josh Ward hit his 12th home run of the season. With one gone, Danny White was hit by a pitch and stole second, followed by Hall’s walk. Bretton Ater and Marcus Peavler had back-to-back RBI singles. Hazlett doubled to drive in another run.
Allen County led 5-0. Neosho County scored three runs in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Ward also had a single in the game. Ater had a double along with his single.
Behind the pitching of Faulkner, the Red Devils powered their way to a 7-2 win. Faulkner worked five innings, allowing two runs on three hits and had six strikeouts.
Danny Shearman worked one inning, issuing two walks and hitting one batter. Moore closed it out with three strikeouts in the seventh.
Hazlett, who was 5-for-5 at the plate for the two games, Ward and Seth Dutton delivered home runs for the Red Devils. Ward, who leads the team with 13, homered to lead off the second inning.
Also in the second inning, Stefaan Jefferson walked and moved around on a double by Michael Samuel. Hall’s ground-out drove in a run.
Hazlett hit a solo home run in the third to put ACCC up 3-1. Neosho County got into the home run act when Brian Gomez connected for a two-run shot in the fourth.
Allen County got those runs back in its half of the inning. Kyle Linnebur drew a walk and Samuel reached on an error. Hall drove in two runs with a base hit.
In the fifth, Hazlett singled and Dutton hit a two-run home run over the left field fence. Hazlett has 11 home runs and Dutton has eight.
Hazlett had two singles and a home run. Ater hit a single and a double. Linnebur and Samuel each hit a double and Hall singled.
“These games were a good brush-up to get ready for the playoffs,” McLean said.