BLUE DRAGON BASEBALL
Hutchinson (38-18) vs. Labette (16-28)
Hutchinson CC Sports Information
The Jayhawk West champion Hutchinson Community College baseball team begins the postseason on Thursday with the Labette Cardinals in the Region VI Tournament Opening Round series at Hobart-Detter Field.
Game 1 of the best-of-3 series will be at 4 p.m. on Thursday at Hobart-Detter Field. Game 2 and Game 3, if necessary, would be at 1 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, respectively. All three games will be streamed live on the Blue Dragon Sports Network with Steve Carpenter calling the action at 3:45 p.m. on Thursday.
The 38-18 Blue Dragons are the Region VI Tournament's No. 1 overall seed after sharing the Jayhawk West title with Butler. Hutchinson's sweep of third-place Colby was the key tiebreaker in the Dragons getting the top seed.
Labette is 16-28 overall. The Cardinals finished eighth in the Jayhawk East this season. Labette has dropped two games in a row and are 3-7 in its last 10 games played.
On March 21 after a 5-4 loss at Dodge City, the Blue Dragons were just four games over .500 at 14-10. Since then, Hutchinson has gone 24-8 to win a share of a 13th Jayhawk West championship and third under head coach Ryan Schmidt.
The Blue Dragons lead the Jayhawk Conference with 76x home runs and 204 extra-base hits. Hutch has a .306 batting average (4th in the KJCCC). Hutch is fifth in the Jayhawk in team earned run average at 4.30. The Dragons lead the Jayhawk with 551 strikeouts.
Labette is hitting .276 as a team and has a 7.37 team ERA.
Although not on the original 2019 schedule, Hutchinson and Labette played a neutral site doubleheader on February 26 in Pittsburg. The Blue Dragons swept the Cardinals 18-2 in a run-rule game and 7-1.
Hutch used a nine-run first inning and got a game-high four RBIs by Riley Metzger in the Game 1 victory. The Dragons had 14 hits, including seven for extra bases. Ryan Summers struck out eight over four innings to earn the pitching victory.
Four Blue Dragon pitchers limited Labette to four hits in the second game. Dawson Linder got the win on the mound with five strikeouts over four innings. Zach Philbin, Zach Firmature and Dylan Nedved worked a combined three scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Offensively, Nedved had a double and home run and Zane Schmidt hit a homer as Hutch had seven hits in the game.
This will be the fourth time since 2004 that the Blue Dragons and Cardinals and Labette have met in the postseason.
Hutchinson swept Labette in both 2006 and 2017 in best-of-3 opening-round series, both at Hobart-Detter Field. From 2010-12, the postseason were four-team sub-regionals and then the Central District Tournament in Wichita. The Blue Dragons defeated Labette in the 2011 Liberal subregional, winning 9-1.
Since Region VI went to this postseason format in 2004, the Blue Dragons are 8-4 in opening-round series, going 8-2 at Hobart-Detter Field.
The Hutchinson-Labette series winner will meet the Seward Count-Fort Scott winner in the opening-round of the 2019 Central District Tournament at 4 p.m. next Wednesday at Eck Stadium in Wichita.