Allen splits with No. 3 Johnson Co.

Allen Community College fended off a late charge from third-ranked Johnson County Thursday, snapping the Cavaliers' 14-game winning streak in the process. But the fun ended there as Johnson County scored 14 runs in the sixth inning of an 18-0 victory in the second game of the doubleheader.


April 12, 2024 - 2:45 PM

OVERLAND PARK — Some steely nerves from Allen Community College pitcher Jack Bland down the stretch led to one of the Red Devils’ most impressive wins of the season Thursday.

Bland was dominant over the first six innings and held  a 4-1 lead against Johnson County, which entered Thursday’s doubleheader tied for first in the Jayhawk Conference and ranked No. 3 in NJCAA.

But a leadoff single led to a two-run home run from Johnson County’s Cal Killgore to cut the deficit to 4-3, still with nobody out.

Bland retired the next two batters, and was one out away from a complete game, when the Cavaliers’ Ryker Edwards singled and Jake McClure doubled, putting the tying and winning runs in scoring position.

Red Devil head coach Clint Stoy opted to stick with Bland to finish things off.

Bland rewarded his coach’s faith by inducing a ground ball off the bat of Johnson County’s Maddox Fleck to seal the 4-3 victory.

Allen’s victory snapped Johnson County’s 14-game winning streak, but the fun ended there.

Johnson County broke open a 4-0 lead by exploding for 14 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning of Thursday’s nightcap to win 18-0.

The two teams will wrap up their four-game series with a doubleheader at Allen Saturday afternoon.

ALLEN took the lead for good in Thursday’s opener with a third-inning rally.

Colton Ayres and Cale Clark singled, setting the stage for Armando Navarro’s run-scoring double and an RBI single from Anthony Talpa.

The score stayed at 2-1 until Garrett Rusch tripled home Caleb Horsey. Clark followed with a single to bring Rusch home for Allen’s fourth and final run.

That was enough for Bland, who allowed nine hits over seven innings with three strikeouts and no walks.

Rusch, Clark and Navarro proved to be Allen’s offensive catalysts, combining for eight hits in 12 at-bats. Rusch went 3-for-4 with a triple, while Clark doubled and singled twice. Navarro had a single and double. Talpa, Horsey and Ayres added singles.

THE RED DEVILS couldn’t do much with Johnson County pitcher Brandon Stone in Game 2. Stone limited Allen to singles from Rusch, Tyler Martin and Ayres.

Seth Broadwell got the start, allowing two hits over two innings. Elias Muller pitched the next three innings, limiting Johnson County to four hits and a run. Bjarne Reinhardt and Ethan Payne combined to pitch one inning, with one strikeout.