Saints split with Northeastern
By ROY ALLEN
Seward sports information director
Seward County head coach Galen McSpadden reached another coaching milestone Saturday afternoon at Brent Gould Field, earning his 1,200th career victory as his Saints walked off the Northeastern Plainsmen 6-5 in the two teams series finale in Liberal.
Game one of the twinbill was dominated by Northeastern righthander Cooper Bailey. The Plainsmen cashed in on a one out walk in the top half of the 1st to give Bailey and Northeastern a 1-0 lead after one.
A Seward error to begin the 3rd allowed the Plainsmen to get things going again and Northeastern parlayed the mistake into a pair of runs to push their lead to 3-0.
Bailey faced the minimum in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th and it remained a 3-0 game to the 5th when Northeastern added another tally following a Seward error to make it 4-0.
The Saints didn’t threaten until the 7th and final inning where they got a two run single from Law Greiner to slice the Northeastern lead in half at 4-2, but when the Plainsmen went to their closer Ethan Cano-McGregor, it was over for the guys in green as he slammed the door, retiring both batters he faced to lock down the 4-2 win for Northeastern.
The top of the Seward lineup struggled in the loss as the Saints first four hitters combined to go 0-11 in the contest. Greiner and Jared Biddy had four of the Saints six hits in the loss. Jonathan Castillo took the loss on the hill, going six innings while yielding seven hits and four runs, three earned, while striking out seven.
Seward got their offense going earlier in the series finale as Greiner ripped a two run triple in the bottom of the 1st to give them an early 2-0 lead.
Northeastern struck back in the 3rd, getting three straight extra base hits with one out in the frame to score a pair of runs and knot the score up at two.
A solo home run for the Plainsmen in the 4th gave Northeastern a one run lead momentarily, but the Saints answered back in the bottom half of the frame, getting RBI knocks from Brian Tims and Errett Edwards to go back in front 4-3.
It was a tie game once again after the 6th as a leadoff triple and a Seward error led to a Plainsmen run to even the score at four.
After stretch time, Seward retook a 5-4 lead as the Saints loaded the bases without the benefit of a hit and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Brendan Madsen.
Things were looking good for Seward as reliever West Reddell cruised through the Plainsmen order in the 8th and retired the first two hitters he faced in the 9th, but needing just one more out for victory, Northeastern got a first pitch, pinch hit solo home run to knot the score up for the fourth time in the game at 5-5.
A leadoff single in the bottom of the 9th by Jared Hasik got Seward going and a sacrifice bunt pushed him to second with one out. A walk put two on and a pop out on the infield marked the second out of the frame. With the game on the line, Errett Edwards came through big for the Saints, smacking a single to left to drive home Hasik, giving the Saints a 6-5 walkoff win and McSpadden win number 1,200.
Northeastern outhit Seward 9-7 in the game, but Plainsmen pitching walked 10 and Northeastern’s defense committed four errors to help the Saints cause. Edwards led Seward with three hits and two RBIs including the game winner while Hasik was 1 for 2 with two runs, also the game winner. Reddell earned the win out of the Saints bullpen, eating up three innings, allowing just two hits and one run while striking out four to improve to 1-0 on the year. Jordan Pepper went six innings in his collegiate debut, allowing seven hits and four runs while striking out nine and not walking a single batter.
McSpadden earns his 1,200th career victory in the game four win, adding onto his already Jayhawk Conference record total.
Seward moved to 4-6 on the year with the split while Northeastern opens their year 2-2.
Next up for the Saints is a trip to Odessa and Midland, Texas Saturday and Sunday where they will take on Odessa in a doubleheader Friday followed by a split doubleheader against Midland and McLennan on Sunday in the Lone Star State.