Greyhounds sweep, hang on to No. 6 seed
OVERLAND PARK -- Fort Scott Community College's baseball team broke out of its conference slump here Friday and clinched sixth place in the Jayhawk Conference-Eastern Division with a sweep of Johnson County.
The Greyhounds (18-18 East, 36-19 overall) won the opener, 3-0, posting their first shutout since March 5 when they held Cowley scoreless in the second game of a road doubleheader. They took the nightcap, 5-3, after hold off a Johnson County rally.
Staying in sixth place assures Fort Scott of a trip to Garden City in this weekend's Region VI Tournament first-round series. While the Greyhounds managed to win consecutive conference games for the first time in three weeks, the third-place Broncbusters (21-11 Western Division, 41-14 overall) stumbled a bit on Monday, dropping the first game of a make-up home doubleheader with eighth-place Pratt by a 5-3 score before bouncing back for an 17-3 win in the nightcap. The first-game loss cost the Busters an opportunity to catch second-place Hutchinson. Garden City would have won a tiebreaker since the Busters split with division champion Colby while the Blue Dragons lost three of four to the Trojans.
The top four teams in each division host a first-round best-of-three series. The first two games will be played Saturday as a doubleheader. The third, if it's needed, will be played Sunday afternoon. Series winners advance to bracket play in Wichita May 13-17.
Ryan McCullough (7-3) allowed 4 hits and 2 walks over 7 innings while striking out 4 in the opener for the 'Hounds. Andrew Tanous and Jedd Andrade each went 2 for 3 at the plate.
Tanous' eighth home run of the season led off the top of the second inning to make it 1-0.
Brendan Welch hit a one-out single, moved to second on a ground out, to third on Jake Biller's single and scored on Andrade's hit to make it 2-0 after three.
Biller walked leading off the sixth. Andrade and Tanous hit back-to-back singles to get him home with the final Greyhound run of the game.
Fort Scott held a 4-0 lead in game two before Johnson County (23-13, 40-16) finally scored. Danny Crews led off the game with a walk, moved to second on Biller's double and scored on a ground out to make it 1-0.
Mackay Williams led off the second with a single to center. He moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Hasch's single.
Hasch hit a leadoff homer in the fourth. Then Welch drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Biller's single to make it 4-0.
The Cavaliers scored once in the bottom of the fourth and twice in the sixth to get within 4-3. Fort Scott scored an insurance run in the seventh when Nick Banman's double scored Andrade.
Hasch was 2 for 3 for the Greyhounds while Biller went 2 for 4.
Matt Hicks (7-2) pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing one earned run on 7 hits. He didn't walk anyone and struck out 2. Nick Sloan picked up his second save of the season in closing things out.
After getting swept, Johnson County had to settle for being the fourth seed out of the Eastern Division, although it still gets to host Seward County this weekend. The Cavs tied with Kansas City for third place but the Blue Devils won the higher seed because they won the season series with Johnson. KCK will host Barton in the first round.
Pratt, even though it lost three of four to Garden City over the weekend as a whole, still made the playoffs after finishing six game ahead of last-place Cloud County. The Beavers (10-12, 20-36) will be rewarded with a trip to national No. 1-ranked Neosho County (28-8, 47-9) this weekend.
The other first-round matchups have East runner-up Cowley hosting Butler, West champ Colby at home against Coffeyville, Hutchinson hosting Independence and Allen playing at Dodge City.
Fort Scott.......... 011 001 0 -- 3 7 0
Johnson Co....... 000 000 0 -- 0 4 0
WP -- McCullough (7-3). LP -- Baruth (4-2).
HR -- Fort Scott: Tanous (8, 2nd inn., none on, none out).
Fort Scott.......... 110 200 1 -- 5 9 3
Johnson Co....... 000 102 0 -- 3 7 1
WP -- Hicks (7-2). LP -- Lewis (3-3). Sv. -- Sloan (2).
HR -- Fort Scott: Hasch (4, 4th inn., none on, none out)