COFFEYVILLE – Neosho County Community College burned a 9-5 lead in the seventh in the first game of a road doubleheader versus Coffeyville on Thursday.
Leading 9-5 in the bottom of the seventh with one out, NCCC gave up five runs on three hits, which led to the Panthers losing 10-9 and dropping to 11-5 on the year at the time.
Designated hitter Josh Miller smoked a three-run homer – his fourth of the year – adding to his two-hit, five-RBI day, while catcher Connor Jeffers, second baseman Andrew Brautman, and centerfielder Khalil Thrasher all registered two hits apiece. Miller now has his average up to .419 with 25 RBIs, while Jeffers is at .455 with 10 RBIs, Brautman has a .469 average with 15 RBIs, and Thrasher is up to .421 with 16 RBIs.
Starting pitcher Josh Flack (1-0) struck out four, walked two, and allowed four earned runs and seven hits in six innings. Relieving pitcher Brett Wiemers (0-1) struck out two, walked none and allowed one earned run and three hits in 1/3 inning.
Wiemers, who came into pitch for Flack in the bottom of the seventh, immediately struck out Coffeyville’s first baseman Tucker Sparks and centerfielder Jayden Kay, though Kay reached first base on a passed ball. But then Coffeyville’s designated hitter Trey McClelland doubled to bring in Kay to make the score 9-6. Coffeyville catcher Riley Higgins reached on an infield error and advanced to second, and McClelland advanced to third.
Coffeyville right fielder Brett Kennett got on base from an infield error, too, which brought in Higgins and McClelland, pushing the score to 9-8 NCCC. Left fielder Edsael Torres stroked an RBI-double to bring in Kennett, and third baseman Jackson Wilcox hit a walk-off RBI-single to score Torres that ended the game at 10-9 Coffeyville.
NCCC head coach Steve Murry said the defense was the culprit.
“Our defense was bad,” Murry said. “Simple plays turned into mistakes and it is the third time it has cost us a game.”
The Panthers committed three errors, the same as the Red Ravens.
CCC mustered up 10 hits on the day versus NCCC’s 11. McClelland racked up three hits, while Wilcox had two.
CCC starting pitcher Raymond Farrell struck out 10, walked two and gave up five earned runs and 10 hits in six innings. Relieving pitcher Chance Crowley, though, posted the win after striking out one and giving up no earned runs or walks and just one hit.
In Game 2, NCCC (11-6, 3-3) managed to score just one run, falling 5-1 to Coffeyville (8-11, 4-2) and dropping to 11-6 on the season.
Jeffers tallied two hits and Brautman smacked an RBI-single to bring home Jeffers in the top of the third. NCCC starting pitcher Cam Blazek (1-1) struck out six, walked one and allowed no earned runs and seven hits. Coffeyville’s big innings were two runs on three hits in the bottom of the third, and two runs on one hit in the bottom of the fifth. Torres put up two hits, while shortstop Quinton Carlberg, Kay and McClelland each had one RBI.
The Panthers hit six times, while the Red Ravens were up to eight hits. But mind-boggling defense reared its ugly head once more.
“Again, horrid defense cost us the fourth game of the year,” Murry said. “Blazek was really good and we wasted his outing.”
Neosho had three errors versus Coffeyville’s one.
There are no games scheduled in the month of March due to the KJCCC canceling play the rest of month due to the Coronavirus.