Bland’s gem lifts Red Devils in split

Allen Community College's Jack Bland threw a two-hit shutout Thursday in a 2-0 win over Coffeyville. However, the Red Devils' chance at a sweep evaporated when Coffeyville scored four runs in the eighth inning of a 12-9 victory.

Sports

April 26, 2024 - 2:44 PM

Allen Community College's Jack Bland pitches in a game earlier this season. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

COFFEYVILLE — A late rally prevented a solid afternoon for Allen Community College from being a spectacular one.

The Red Devils, already flying high from Jack Bland’s two-hit shutout in a 2-0 win over Coffeyville, had rallied with three runs in the top of the eighth of Game 2 to take a 9-3 lead.

But Coffeyville responded with four of its own in the bottom of the eighth to pull out a wild 12-9 victory, forcing Allen to settle for a split.

Wednesday’s doubleheader was pushed up a day because of rainy weather that developed Thursday and persisted into the weekend. Weather permitting, the two teams will wrap up their four-game series Saturday afternoon in Iola.

Bland’s pitching, coupled with the clutch hitting of Logan Martin, was all Allen needed in Game 1.

Martin’s two-out single in the top of the second scored Caleb Horsey for a 1-0 lead. He then extended the lead to 2-0 with a solo home run to lead off the fifth.

That was all Bland needed in his best start of the season. He allowed two singles, and the closest he came to a jam was when he allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth and then fell behind to the next hitter on a 3-1 count. 

But Bland wound up forcing a routine fly ball to retire Coffeyville’s Adrian Dominguez, and then retired the next two batters on consecutive pitches to end the inning.

He wound up striking out five over seven innings.

Martin tacked on a double on his 3-for-3 day. Horsey and Parker Martin each had two singles against Coffeyville starter Ricardo Hernandez, who also pitched a complete game.

BOTH TEAMS found their offense in Game 2.

Coffeyville forged ahead in the middle innings and took an 8-4 lead into the top of the seventh.

Parker Martin hit a one-out RBI single to pull Allen closer before Colton Ayres smacked a two-run double with two outs, making it 8-7.

The fun continued in the top of the eighth.

Anthony Talpa led off with a single and almost scored, but the umpires ruled Collin Godfrey’s liner to left was a double instead of a triple, forcing Talpa to return to third base. The ruling was rendered moot when a dropped third strike allowed Talpa to score on the next batter to tie the score at 8-8. Parker Martin then brought home Godfrey on an RBI grounder to give Allen the lead.

But the Red Ravens had the final answer.

Saul Bolivar, who helped ACC escape a bases-loaded jam to end the seventh, was greeted in the eighth by a leadoff single, and then back-to-back doubles from Coffeyville’s Jaden Hill and Harrison Smith to retake a 10-9 lead. The Ravens tacked on two more insurance runs before the inning ended.

Allen had one final rally with two outs in the top of the ninth. Cale Clark singled and Logan Martin was hit by a pitch, bringing Talpa to the plate as the tying run. But he was retired on a grounder to short to end the game.

Talpa paced Allen’s offense with two singles and a  double. Ayres and Godfrey each had a single and double. Kyle Kleweno singled twice. Adding one single each were Logan Martin, Armando Navarro, Horsey, Parker Martin, Tyler Martin and Clark.

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