by Alan Hoskins,
Kansas City Kansas Community College bats were as cold as the weather over the weekend as the Blue Devils were swept in three games in their home openers by nationally ranked Des Moines Area Community College.
Ranked No. 2 in Division II, DMACC posted the sweep by limiting the Blue Devils to five runs and 14 hits in 25 innings while pounding out 30 hits and scoring 22 runs.
The losses dropped KCKCC to 3-5 heading into a single home game against Midland University’s JV Tuesday at 2 p.m. and the Jayhawk Conference home openers against Fort Scott Thursday at 1 and 3:30 p.m.
DMACC set the tone early in Saturday’s opener, scoring in five of the first six innings en route to a 10-2 9-inning win. Limited to just three hits, a double by Danny Kralicek and singles by Daniel LaMunyon and Alex Thrower, the Blue Devils scored both their runs in the fifth inning on Kralicek’s double and a sacrifice fly by Zane Mapes.
KCKCC got a strong pitching performance from Geoffrey Birkemeier in Saturday’s second game. Birkemeier allowed just two runs over the first six innings before DMACC added two insurance runs in the seventh in a 4-1 win. Eric Hinostroza, who had two of the Blue Devils’ six hits, singled in KCKCC’s lone run in the fifth to trim the deficit to 2-1.
The Blue Devils took a 2-0 lead into the seventh behind Preston Bailey in Sunday’s finale only to have Des Moines score eight times in the final three innings for an 8-2 win. Bailey allowed just one hit before DMACC took advantage of walks to tie the game in the seventh 2-2 and then pull away by scoring three runs each against Hunter Phillips and Adam Rea in the final two innings. KCKCC had just five hits including two each by Christian Arnold and LaMunyon.