Saints nudge Red Devils out of playoffs

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Allen County Community College’s Seth Dutton leads off first base during the first game of the Region VI playoff series here Monday against Seward County Community College. Seward County’s Travis Parker (24) is in position to take a throw to first base from the pitcher. Seward County’s Saints defeated the Red Devils 5-4 and 4-3 to advance to the Region VI tournament in Wichita.
Register/Jocelyn Sheets
The back of Allen County Community College’s center fielder Bretton Ater’s uniform shows how sloppy the outfield at Red Devil Field was during the playoff series Monday. Ater watches head coach Val McLean (down the third base line) give signals before stepping into the batter’s box.

Playoffs come down to pitching. Allen County Community College’s Red Devils had good pitching here Monday.
But visiting Seward County Community College’s Saints had better pitching performances. The Saints got past the Red Devils in two one-run, nine-inning games to win a Region VI best-of-three playoff series.
In sloppy field conditions, the teams finally got the games played. The series was to have started Saturday. It was moved to Sunday because of rain and then to Monday again because of rain.
Allen County coaches, players and staff worked all last week and over the weekend to drain water off Red Devil Field. The teams played in soggy, muddy outfields Monday.
Seward County won the first game 5-4, scoring a run in the top of the ninth. Allen County had tied the game at 4-4 with two runs in the seventh.
Both teams came with their pitching aces on the mound in the opening game. Jake Hosey (11-1) pitched for Allen County while Seward County countered with Bobby Doran, who had nine wins under his belt.
Hosey worked eight innings. He allowed four runs on eight hits and three walks. He struck out 10 batters but did not get the decision. Ben Rister came on in relief in the ninth, gave up one run on three hits and had a strikeout, plus took the loss.
Doran also went eight innings. He gave up four runs on eight hits and walked two. He struck out seven and got the victory.
Travis Parker, Seward County’s closer, came on to pitch the ninth in both games for two saves.
Allen County got on the board first in the opener. Bretton Ater and Marcus Peavler had back-to-back singles in the first inning. Dillon Hazlett was safe on a fielder’s choice, as was Seth Dutton.
Josh Ward singled to center to drive in the run.
Seward County tied the game in the third then two solo home runs by Parker and Luke Campbell put the Saints up 3-1 in the fourth.
Allen County was able to produce a run in its half of the fourth. Dutton drew a walk then with one gone, William Reddick singled. Ryan Herrig delivered an RBI base hit.
A two-out throwing error by Hosey allowed the Saints to score a run in the fifth. Down 4-2, the Red Devils battled back in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Reddick singled and went to second on a throwing error by Doran. Herrig had a base hit then Kyle Linnebur’s ground-out plated a run.
Wyatt Hall reached on an error as Herrig moved to third. Ater’s fly to left field was deep enough to score Herrig
After a scoreless eighth, the Saints got a one-out single to drive in the go-ahead run.
Linnebur singled with one gone in the bottom of the ninth for ACCC. Michael Samuel went in to run for Linnebur. Hall grounded out to second base and Samuel was tagged out to end the game.
Hazlett doubled in the game. Reddick and Herrig each had two singles. Hitting a single each were Ater, Peavler, Ward and Linnebur.
Allen County regrouped and came back with Brandon Faulkner on the mound for the second game. After a shaky start, Faulkner work-ed pretty well.
The Saints used a walk with two gone then a passed ball plus a single scored a run in the first inning. That was the only walk Faulkner issued in the game.
Allen County climbed into the lead on a two-run home run by Hazlett in the fourth inning. Ater had reached on an error. The Red Devils added a run in the fifth when Hall doubled to right to drive in Reddick.
But in the sixth, the Saints had back-to-back singles to open the inning. With one out, Mikel Huston doubled in a run. A ground-out drove in the tying run and an Allen County error allowed the go-ahead run to cross home plate.
The Red Devils stranded base runners over the next four innings. Down one run in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Devils had two men on with one out.
Parker, working in relief of starter Corey Collins, intentionally walked Ater to load the bases. Parker struck out Danny White to end the threat, the inning, the game and the season for Allen County.
Faulkner (7-4) pitched a complete game for the Red Devils. He allowed nine hits, walked one and struck out seven. Collins went 81⁄3 innings for Seward County, surrendering three runs on six hits, one walk and one hit batter. He struck out seven. Parker got the save with two strikeouts.
Reddick had two singles in the game. Hall doubled and Hazlett had the home run. Ward and Herrig each had a single.
Allen County finished the season at 33-17 overall. Seward County improved to 34-20.
Others advancing to the Region VI tournament this coming weekend are Johnson County, Colby, Garden City, Barton County, Hutchinson, Cowley County and Fort Scott. All won their first-round series in two games.