Tigers make statement with series sweep of Johnson County
The No. 12-ranked Cowley College baseball team finished off a four-game sweep of conference rival Johnson County by taking the final two games of the four-game series by scores of 5-0 and 11-7 Saturday in Overland Park, KS.
The teams entered the series separated by just one game in the conference standings. However, after winning a pair of games in Arkansas City on Thursday, Cowley continued to get strong starting pitching throughout the series.
"It was a good finish to the series," Cowley head coach Darren Burroughs said. "We got two really good starts, played well defensively and got some timely hitting."
Cowley freshman Aaron Weber (7-0) followed up his no-hitter against Fort Scott by allowing only one hit in four innings of Saturday's opener. Sophomore shortstop David Herring provided Weber with all the run support he would need by going 2-for-4 with three runs batted in.
Conner Gore and Haden O'Toole drove in the Tigers' other two runs in the 5-0 victory, while Tanner Vaughn followed Weber with two scoreless innings of relief prior to Isaac Stebens tossing a 1-2-3 seventh inning to finish off the win.
Freshman Chance Cox gave Cowley another strong start in the finale as he did not allow a run until the seventh inning. Cox (4-0) allowed only five hits and two runs, while striking out six and walking none.
The Tigers provided Cox with more than enough offense by scoring six runs in the bottom of the second inning. Cowley benefited from three Cavalier errors in the six-run third.
Cowley scored the remainder of its runs in the top of the eighth inning as the inning was highlighted by Carson Hunt's two-run single and an RBI double by O'Toole.
Leading 11-2, Cowley appeared to be in control. However, Johnson County scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and pulled within 11-7 on a home run by Greg Ziegler in the bottom of the ninth inning.
After a one-out single by Russell Young, Cowley summoned Miguel Fulgencio in to record the final two outs and preserve the series sweep.
Gore had three of Cowley's 12 hits to raise his average .357 on the season.
Cowley, winners of seven games in a row, is now 32-7 overall and 21-3 in the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division. Johnson County (30-13) falls to a distant third in the Jayhawk East with a conference record of 13-7. The Tigers remain just behind Kansas City (18-2) for the top spot in the conference.
Cowley will return home to take on Jayhawk West foe Cloud County Tuesday at 2 p.m. The T-Birds are 34-10 overall and in the second place in the Jayhawk West with a record of 17-7.
Score by inning:
Game one R H E
Cowley 0 0 2 0 2 1 0 – 5 8 1
Johnson 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 0 3 1
Game two R H E
Cowley 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 – 11 12 1
Johnson 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 1 – 7 12 3