By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
After falling in the first game of the Region 6 tournament in Wichita, the Saints have managed to stay alive and rach the final three with three dramatic wins including an 11-inning thriller Sunday night against the team that sent Seward to the loser’s bracket in the first place.
“I am proud of our kids,” Seward coach Galen McSpadden said. “They have more fight in them then they demonstrated in the course of the spring. You never really know someone until their back is against the wall.”
Fort Scott was receiving votes in the NJCAA poll when the Saints earned an 8-5 win in the loser’s bracket.
That set up a Sunday matinee against the No. 2 team in the nation, Cowley. Seward fell behind 5-1 in the sixth before rallying for an 8-7 win.
“The real key is we didn’t let them score after the five runs,” McSpadden said. “We brought in Keenan Hall, and he gave us what we needed. Adam Guay comes in and pitched way above expectations. The big thing was we didn’t let them capitalize after they got to five.”
Cowley had runners on second and third in the top of the ninth, and McSpadden made a visit to the mound to talk to reliever Adam Guay.
“When I went out to the mound and asked if he had any more gas, he said yes,” McSpadden said. “I asked, ‘Do I need to make this move?’ He said, ‘I got it.’ It is that look in a kid’s eye sometimes, when you go out to the mound, to get out of that situation. We had a high towering pop up, and it was almost mis-played. (Guay) caught it, and it was big league. At the last minute first base and the catcher couldn’t see it. When he made that catch I thought we may have a chance here.”
Seward faced Kansas City in a rematch of the opening game of the super regional at Lawrence Dumont Stadium. The Saints dropped the first match 2-1 which sent Seward to the loser’s bracket Friday, but in the Sunday evening showdown, Seward was able to win when it mattered.
Reed Thompson hit an RBI single in the 11th inning to score Francisco Bolanos, and the Saints stayed alive with a 7-6 win.
“We have had to deplete to get here,” McSpadden said. “We only have one fresh arm. Everyone else will have to give us what they have left in the tank.”
Seward will face Coffeyville at 4 p.m. today, and the winner will advance to face Neosho at 7 p.m.