Allen County Community College’s baseball team got knocked on its heels over the weekend. The Red Devils opened the 2010-2011 season with a four-game series against Rose State College in Midwest City, Okla.
The Red Devils are 0-4.
Rose State broke a 3-3 tie in the first game Saturday with a six-run fifth to win 9-3. Rose State rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat ACCC 5-4 in the second game.
Sunday, the Red Devils were up 5-1 when Rose State scored nine runs in the bottom of the fifth on its way to a 10-5 win. Rose State won the final game 5-1.
Allen County hosts its first Jayhawk Eastern Division four-game weekend series Saturday and Sunday. Neosho County (3-3) comes to Red Devil Field for two doubleheaders, starting at 1 p.m. each day.
“Our hitters had a pretty good weekend at Rose State. We hit the ball pretty well and played solid defense,” said Val McLean, who enters his 34th season as head coach of the Red Devils.
“Our big question coming into the season was pitching. We knew that and we gave up way too many walks over the weekend.”
McLean said he and assistant coach Seth Beason are talking to the ACCC pitchers about the importance of being aggressive with their pitches and working ahead in the count. He said the Red Devil pitchers need to challenge hitters.
“If our guys can challenge hitters and throw strikes, we’ll be all right,” McLean said. Allen County pitching issued 20 walks and had three hit batters, which means Rose State had 23 free passes to the bases in four games.
In the first game with Rose State, the Red Devils had eight hits, led by Nick Fountain and Brad Alberts with two base hits apiece. Riley Price, Curtiss Bunch, Kaleb Hoffman and Travis Stafford each hit a single.
Allen County produced a run in the first inning when Brayden Brumley drew a one-out walk. Bunch singled and with two gone, Fountain drove in the run on a base hit.
The Red Devils scored twice in the fourth to lead 3-0 but Rose State tied the game with three runs — two on a home run — in its half of the inning. The Raiders’ Mason hit a second home this time for three runs, sparking a six-run fifth.
Allen County was unable to answer and lost 9-3.
The pitching loss went to Brandon Spear who came on in relief of starter Kaleb Clark after 32⁄3 innings. Spear pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowing seven runs on six hits and a walk. Clark gave up two runs on four hits and one walk and struck out six. Stafford pitched 12⁄3 innings of scoreless baseball and gave up one hit and struck out two.
A triple by Bunch drove in two runs for Allen County in the first inning of Saturday’s second game. The Red Devils added to their 2-1 lead in the second.
Kyle Johnston was hit by a pitch with one out and came around to score on a double to deep left by Price. The Raiders wiped out ACCC’s 3-1 lead with a three-run fourth.
Allen County tied the game at 4-4 in the fifth. Bunch was hit by a pitch and scored on a one-out triple by Fountain.
But Mason struck again for the Raiders. This time with a double to lead off the sixth to score the winning run. Rose State retired Allen County in order in the seventh.
Fountain had a single and triple in the game for Allen County. Bunch tripled and Price doubled. Brumley singled.
Cody Wren pitched 32⁄3 innings for ACCC, allowing four runs on three hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Zak Mickens tossed 21⁄3 innings and allowed one run on two hits and one walk with a strikeout.
Allen County used four pitchers in Sunday’s first game and lost 10-5 as Rose State scored nine runs in the fifth inning. Red Devil pitchers issued eight walks and hit two batters in the game. Pitching for ACCC were Dylan Bowman, Tanner Wittman, Mickens and Alberts.
Bunch singled and tripled to drive in two runs in the game. Brumley and Bryce Williams each had two base hits. Alberts doubled. Price and Fountain had a single each.
Rose State scored three runs in the first inning of the second game to win 5-1. Allen County’s run came in the fourth when Bunch had a ground-rule double over the center field fence. He moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Alberts.
Bunch also had a single in the game as did Alberts, Fountain and Stafford. Patrick Garner took the pitching loss, going two-thirds of an inning, allowing three runs on five walks and one hit with one strikeout. Spear finished the game, 51⁄3 innings. He gave up two runs on two hits, walked one and struck out five.
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