Fort Scott Community College's baseball team will be headed as far west as a team can go in Kansas this weekend for its Region VI Tournament Sub-Regional.
Colby clinched second place in the Jayhawk Conference-Western Division and the right to host the Sub-Regional when it swept last-place Pratt in its weekend series. Barton County, which finished third, had a shot at passing Colby but that became a moot issue when Dodge City took both ends of Sunday's doubleheader from the Cougars.
Going into their weekend series with Labette, Fort Scott knew it couldn't finish higher than third in the Jayhawk East. But to avoid having to face Western Division champ Seward County in Sub-Regional play, the Greyhounds needed to take at least three of the four games from the Cardinals or have Coffeyville at least fail to sweep Johnson County.
In Saturday's play, Fort Scott swept Labette at Lions Field 11-1 and 4-0 while Coffeyville and Johnson County split. This was enough to ensure the Greyhounds will finish third.
All parties saw Sunday's doubleheaders postponed. Fort Scott and Labette moved the make-up to Parsons and played on Monday. The Greyhounds won game one 5-2 and game two 7-5. Johnson County and Coffeyville will finish their series today.
The Greyhounds (23-13 East, 40-16 overall) know they will face Butler (16-16 West, 29-24 overall) at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning in a first-round contest of the double-elimination Sub-Regional. Colby (23-9, 36-18) will face whoever finishes seventh in the East at 12:30. As of this writing, the Trojans' opponent will be Highland.
First-round losers will play an elimination game Saturday at 3:30 Sunday play sees Saturday's opening-round winners face off at noon. Another elimination game follows at 3 p.m.
Monday, the two remaining teams meet for the championship at noon. Should the team from the losers' bracket win that game, there would be another game at 3 p.m.
The winners of the four Sub-Regionals -- the other three will be held at Seward, Cowley and Neosho County -- advance to double-elimination play at Wichita May 14-16. The winner of that tournament goes on to the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., May 28-June 4.
Saturday: Fort Scott 11-4, Labette 1-0.
Fort Scott score a run in each of the first two innings of the opener, then blew it open with a 6-run third, taking advantage of three Labette (15-21, 18-24) errors.
The inning began when Austin Williams singled to first. All runners were safe when Labette pitcher Ryan Miller made an error on Corey Stringer's fielder's choice. Gavin Stark bunted on reached on an error, which allowed Williams to score. Stringer scored on a wild pitch and Josh Samuelson's sacrifice fly plated Stark to make it 5-0.
Jake Parsons and Dylan Banach singled and Jordan Stull reached on a 2-out error. Stuart Jeck cleared the bases with a double.
Parsons was 2 for 2 for the 'Hounds while Jeck was 2 for 4 with 4 RBI. Pitcher Jesse Hart went the distance, allowing no earned runs on 7 hits and 3 walks while striking out 2.
Fort Scott took a 1-0 lead in game two when Cole Fergus' sacrifice fly brought in Parsons. Three more went up in the seventh with Jeck bringing home 2 when he belted a double off the top of the wall in right-center.
Lefty Joey Parrack went all 9 innings, allowing 5 hits and 4 walks while striking out 5.
Labette........................ 000 01x x -- 1 7 4
Fort Scott..................... 116 03x x -- 11 11 1
WP -- Hart. LP -- Miller.
Labette.................... 000 000 000 -- 0 5 4
Fort Scott................. 010 000 30x -- 4 5 0
WP -- Parrack. LP -- Williams.