Red Devils split with Neosho Co.

Allen Community College rode the hot pitching of Payton Pudenz in a 5-0 shutout victory over Neosho County Saturday. But the Panthers rebounded with a late rally to win the nightcap, 6-3.



April 1, 2024 - 2:50 PM

Allen Community College's Cale Clark, left, fields a throw while Neosho County's Brendon Fry slides into second base Saturday. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

An early rally from Allen Community College in Game 1 and a late rally from Neosho County Community College in the nightcap resulted in a doubleheader split between the two rivals Saturday.

The Red Devils rode the hot pitching hand of Payton Pudenz in the opener, as he shut out the visiting Panthers on four hits in a 5-0 victory, snapping what had been a season-long six-game losing streak.

But Allen’s hopes for a sweep were doused when Neosho County rallied for five runs in the seventh, eight and ninth innings to prevail, 6-3. The big blow was Neosho County’s Saben Brady’s tie-breaking two-run blast in the top of the eighth.

Even though the day ended on a sour note, Allen head coach Clint Stoy was happy with his team’s play through the doubleheader.

“We gave ourselves a chance,” Stoy said. “We played a lot better, which is what’s important with a young group. One big hit can change a ball game.”

Pudenz was masterful in the opener, improving his record to 5-2 and facing only one true jam when Neosho County put runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the fifth.

He induced an infield pop-up to end the threat, and then retired Neosho County in order over the final two innings to complete the shutout. Pudenz finished with seven strikeouts.

“Any time you can throw a complete-game shutout at this level is big,” Stoy said. “Kudos to him.”

Allen got the early jump when Mees Robberse smacked a two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the first. Parker Martin brought him home with a single and Allen was up 3-0.

The lead swelled to 4-0 when Bjarne Reinhardt reached on an error, moved to third on Cale Clark’s single and rambled home safely as part of a double-steal.

Robberse tacked on an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to cap the scoring.

He wound up with two hits, including a double, with three RBIs.

Clark went 3-or-3, while Armando Navarro singled twice. Anthony Talpa added a double. Marin had a single.

ALLEN missed out on a scoring opportunity in the early going of the second game when Talpa attempted to score from first base on Navarro’s two-out double.

But he was ruled out at home plate, even though the catcher dropped the ball, because the umpire ruled Talpa initiated “malicious contact” as he dove for the plate.