Will face No. 1 Cowley today at 1 p.m.

John Giffin

Sports editor

Unable to capitalize on runners in scoring position, the Neosho County Community College baseball team fell to Dodge City Community College 5-2 on the opening day of the NJCAA Central District Tournament at Lawrence Dumont Stadium in Wichita Friday.

Several times the Panthers had the bases loaded and were unable to drive home a run.

“We had 15 chances with people in scoring position,” Head Panther Baseball Coach Steve Murry said. “They were all in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. We got three hits out of that whole mess. We had a lot of guys not step up and do well. By the same token we had some guys that stung the ball, just right at them. That's just baseball.”

The game start was delayed from 4 p.m. to 5:35 p.m. due to a 14-inning contest between Seward and Coffeyville. After the Panthers and Conquistadors finally got started, a storm system moved through downtown Wichita - causing about and hour and a half rain delay in the top of the sixth with Neosho at bat.

Play resumed at 8:20 p.m.

“I think it actually helped us because it got their kid out of the game pitching,” Murry said. “Their kid was just doing a fabulous job.”

That kid was Luke Crabb, who went 5 1/3 innings, striking out four and allowing two runs. Matthew Perea closed out the game for Dodge City, pitching a 3 2/3 inning shut out and striking out four.

Dodge City got to Panther starter Matt Slauter in the bottom of the first with a RBI single to take an early 1-0 advantage. The Conquistadors scored three more runs in the bottom of the third and another in the seventh.

Slauter started and pitched five innings, allowed four runs, struck out four and walked one. He was hit eight times. Trent Latta came on in relief and allowed three hits and one run.

The Panthers runs came in the top of the fifth and sixth innings. Neosho scored for the first time when Brady Childs reached home on a Tyler Sutherland RBI double. In the sixth, Jonah Bride scored on a wild pitch.

Blake Tomasino was 2-for-2 at the plate. Childs batted 2-for-3 with a run scored. Levi Ashmore was 2-for-5.

Neosho plays No. 1 Cowley Community College in an elimination game today. The Tigers were beat in the nightcap by Butler Community College 7-5 in a game that ended after 1 a.m. Neosho will be the most rested going into the 1 p.m. start time.

“Now it comes down at this point of the tournament to who has the most energy,” Murry said. “You're going to show up and one of the teams is going to go home every single game. That's tough. I would hate to end the year on a bad note. By the same token, only one team is going to win it all.”

Dodge City 5, Neosho 2

Neosho 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 – 2 9 2

Dodge City 1 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 x - 5 11 4

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