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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Greyhounds settle for split with Ravens

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fort Scott Community College pitcher John Means throws to a Coffeyville batter during the third inning of Saturday's first game at Lions Field. Means allowed one run on five hits and three walks while striking out five in five innings and was credited with the win for the Greyhounds in a 6-1 victory. Coffeyville won the second game 7-2.
(Scott Nuzum/Tribune)
First, the bad news. Fort Scott Community College's baseball team managed just a split with Coffeyville at Lions Field in Jayhawk Conference-Eastern Division play Saturday night and remains in last place in the division.

The good news is that the Greyhounds are just four games out of the final playoff spot and control their own destiny with 12 games left on the conference schedule.

The Greyhounds won the opener over Coffeyville 6-1. That paired with a victory in the nightcap of Friday's doubleheader marked the first time this season Fort Scott had won consecutive conference games.

Fort Scott dropped the second game 7-2, giving up all 7 runs in the first 4 innings while managing just 2 hits off Coffeyville native Dustin Hurlbutt in the final five innings.

As far as the playoff picture is concerned, the top eight teams in each division qualify for the Region VI Tournament. Fort Scott is 4-20 in East play (19-22 overall), four games behind eighth-place Independence (8-16, 12-25). Labette is in ninth place, one behind Indy and three ahead of Fort Scott (7-17, 15-21).

The Greyhounds play each of those teams in their next two series. Fort Scott will host Independence this Saturday and Sunday in their final conference home games. The 'Hounds play at Labette April 21 and 22 before finishing the conference schedule at Highland on April 28 and 29.

If Fort Scott wins at least three games in the Indy and Labette series, it will hold tie-breakers over both teams. If Fort Scott manages splits with either, the tie-breaker will come down to comparing each team's record versus higher-finishing teams in the division, starting with the first-place team and going on down.

Independence split doubleheaders with Allen Friday and Saturday while Labette lost three of four games against Highland. Labette is at home against Allen this coming weekend.

Left-hander John Means held Coffeyville in check in Saturday's opener, allowing five hits and 3 walks while striking out 5 over the first five innings. Aaron Snow finished up, allowing 2 hits while striking out one.

The Greyhounds took the lead in the bottom of the second inning. Cole Fergus hit his second home run in as many games, a solo shot over the left-field fence. Fergus also hit a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth of Friday's second game that kick-started a 3-run rally that brought Fort Scott a 10-9 victory.

Alex Drew singled to left and Corey Stringer followed with a double off the left-field fence. Cody Parks brought the runners home with a double to make it 3-0.

Coffeyville (15-9, 18-21) scored its only run in the top of the fifth. Fort Scott scored 3 in the bottom half. Cody McNeece singled with one out, then moved to third on a well-executed hit-and-run with Reyn Sugai. Cody Ball singled to right to plate McNeece. Sugai moved to third but injured his throwing hand on the slide. Fergus brought Sugai home with a 2-out single and Drew followed with another single to score Ball.

Sugai was unable to continue and did not play the second game.

Fergus and Drew each had 2 hits for the 'Hounds in the opener.

Coffeyville scored 4 runs in the top of the second inning of the opener but Joe Hermsen -- Sugai's replacement in the lineup -- cut the margin in half in the bottom of the inning that also scored Caden Cleveland, who was hit by a pitch with one out. But although Parks and Beau Phillips followed up with back-to-back singles, the 'Hounds couldn't put up any more runs as Hurlbutt struck out the last two batters.

The Red Ravens added three runs in the top of the fourth. Fort Scott loaded the bases with 2 out in the fifth but Hurlbutt struck out Stringer to end the inning. Only one more runner reached base for the 'Hounds.

Phillips was 2 for 3 for Fort Scott. And while Hurlbutt allowed 7 hits and 2 walks, he also struck out 12 'Hounds in a complete-game effort.

Both Saturday's and Sunday's doubleheaders versus Independence begin at 1 p.m. at Lions Field. KSEK-FM will broadcast Saturday's games.

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