BLUE DRAGON BASEBALL
Hutchinson (38-19) vs. Labette (17-28)
Hutchinson CC Sports Information
The Hutchinson Community College baseball team's offense slumbered for a third-straight game. Now the Blue Dragons are one loss from the end of the season.
Labette had only three hits but took advantage of four Blue Dragon errors, six walks and three wild pitched in a 4-3 victory over Hutchinson in Game 1 of the Region VI Tournament opening-round series on Friday at Hobart-Detter Field.
Trailing 1-0 in the series, the Blue Dragons must win Game 2, which will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Hobart-Detter Field. If Hutchinson wins the second game, a decisive third game would be played 30 minutes after completion of Game 2.
The Blue Dragon fall to 38-19, while Labette improves to 17-28 and wins an opening-round series game for the first time since Region VI sent to this format in 2004. The Cardinals also defeats Hutchinson in a postseason game for the first time in series history.
Labette took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Drew White walked, moved to third on a Justin Perez double and scored on a wild pitch. Hutch tied the game at 1 in the fourth when Riley Metzger hit a leadoff home run, his seventh of the season.
After Labette scored an unearned run with two out on a Taite Saldana single through the right side in the sixth, Hutch tied the game on Logan Sartori's 11th homer of the season, hit on the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh.
With two out in the top of the eighth, the Cardinals had runners at second and third with two out after a three errors and a walk, Rustin Postier, who struck out three times, doubled to right-center for a 4-2 Cardinal lead.
The Dragons pulled within one when Zach Baxley walked, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on a couple of wild pitches to pull within 4-3.
The Blue Dragons had just five hits against three Labette pitchers. Sartori was 2 for 5 with a run and RBI. Metzger homered and Dylan Nedved doubled. Ryan Moritz had the other Hutchinson hit. The Dragons also drew eight walks, but left nine runners on base. The Blue Dragons were 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
Five Blue Dragon pitchers combined to tie a single-game Hutchinson record with 19 strikeouts. That ties the 19 Seward County batters struck out in a 10-inning game on April 20. L.J. McDonough struck out a career-high 11 over 5 1-3 innings. McDonough took over for starter Jake Bunz, who left the game after five batters with an injury.