KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Neosho was able to end a two-game skid after splitting with Metro Community College on Tuesday.
The Panthers of Neosho County Community College impressively won 9-4 in Game 1, and fell just a little bit short in a 10-8 Game 2 loss.
Game 1, though, was a little bit of a rollercoaster ride as the team put up runs early, but trailed in the middle of the contest before the team refused to lose, grasping the lead once more and ending Game 1 decisively.
For Game 2, which culminated in a split, the same as the Metro Community College series at the end of March, Metro imposed its will early, though the Panthers almost made a comeback. Still, it was too big a hole for Neosho to climb out of as the team would marginally lose.
NCCC 9, MCC 4
Usually when a baseball team comes up victorious, it is because of a valiant effort from a combination of hitting, pitching and defense. This time, Daegan Brady led his offense to plenty of run support and Brandon Anderson threw his way to his second victory of the year.
Brady was 3-for-4 on the day with two home runs and four RBI. As a unit NCCC hit 15 times. With plenty of serendipitous run support, Anderson (2-1) struck out ten, walked none, tossed a four-hitter and allowed four earned runs en route to an eventual 9-4 victory at Metro Community College.
Head coach Steve Murry said his starting pitcher was able to mitigate the Metro lineup. “Anderson was fastball city with great command – 88-90 (MPH) all first four innings,” Murry commented.
Starting early momentum, which led to a 2-0 early lead, had Neosho in the top of the second after Brady lifted a two-run home run, scoring himself and Adam Theis, who singled earlier in the inning and would go on to be 3-for-3 with an RBI. Theis is now hitting .340 with three home runs and 26 RBI, while Brady is at .283 with three home runs and 15 RBI.
Brady would go off again in the top of the seventh when he hit another two-run moonshot, this time scoring himself and Khalil Thrasher, who singled earlier in the inning. Two other runs were scored in the inning after Donovan Sutti grounded out to relieving pitcher Payton Bright, scoring Adam Theis and Brady Garrison, who also singled earlier in the inning.
The lone highlight for Metro transpired in a bottom of the fifth, three-hit, four-run inning, when outfielder Mitch Chapman, who would eventually register 2-for-3 with an RBI, stroked a solo home run. A swing of the bat would break a 3-3 tie to put Metro up one.
NCCC, however, would swiftly regain the lead following a Brant Scrivner RBI single scoring Brady – who doubled earlier in the inning – and a Sam Kissane RBI single, which scored Scrivner.
With the score now 5-4, NCCC would put an exclamation point on the game thanks to its four-hit, four-run top of the seventh.
Anderson’s last outing to pitch was the bottom of the sixth, when he engineered a 1-2-3 inning, which included striking out Logan Moran and inducing a groundout and a flyout.
Alex DeBey relieved Anderson in the bottom of the seventh and struck out the side to end the game.
MCC 10, NCCC 8
The bottom of the first inning proved to be too big of a hole for NCCC to climb out of.
A two-hit, four-run inning by Metro would ultimately lead them to a 10-8, Game 2 victory.
Murry said the disappointing first inning should not have happened.
“(It was) beyond bad to get down and especially with three passes and 50 pitches,” Murry said. “Decided to use bullpen from the second on.”
In Game 2, Brady was 2-for-3, while Sutti was 2-for-3 with three RBI and Andrew Brautman was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Sutti on the year is hitting .324 with two home runs and 19 RBI.
On the pitching side, NCCC’s staff – including Kyler Hancock, Nick Wohler, Chris Closser, Mikeal Segree, Hunter Friederich, Nathan Hungate and Noah Vaughn – struck out nine, allowed seven earned runs and walked five batters.
MCC took advantage of the NCCC pitching.
Metro’s Zach Pratt hit a solo shot in the bottom of the second to put his team up 5-0.
NCCC responded with a two-hit, four-run top of the third thanks to Sutti’s three-run double, which scored Khalil Thrasher, Theis and Kissane. Thrasher had the other RBI in the inning after he walked, and scored Brautman, who singled earlier in the inning.
MCC extended its lead in the bottom of the fourth with a two-hit, four-run inning highlighted by catcher Owen Forck, who RBI tripled to score Eddie Wilson. Forck was 3-for-3 with two RBI.
Showing sheer brashness and a willingness to fight, NCCC scored two more runs in the top of the fifth to make the score 9-6 after a Hunter LaMunyon RBI double and a Brautman RBI sacrifice fly. And after a two-hit, one-run bottom of the six for Metro, the Panthers would fall just a bit short – even though NCCC put up two runs thanks to an RBI singles from Garrison and Kissane – after Rafael Tormes ended the inning with a Theis flyout.
Tormes, who relieved Jacob Kidwell in the top of the third, struck out two, walked five and gave up four earned runs. Kidwell struck out four, walked two and also allowed four earned runs.
The Panthers (27-21) will look to start fresh when they play at 1 and 3 pm today at Highland Community College.