FIRST-PLACE BLUE DRAGONS PLAY HOST TO CLOUD COUNTY IN WEEKEND SET
Winners of four-straight Jayhawk Conference Western Division series, the No. 8-ranked Hutchinson Community College baseball team begins the second half of the conference season this weekend with Cloud County at Hobart-Detter Field.
Games 1 and 2 of the four-game series will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The final two games will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday. All four games will be videostreamed on the Blue Dragon Sports Network beginning 5 minutes before first pitch each day.
Hutchinson (25-8) leads the Jayhawk West by two games over Butler with a 13-3 record. The Blue Dragons won the first four conference series of the year for the first time in team history since the Jayhawk West went to the four-game conference weekend, taking 3 of 4 from Garden City, Pratt and Colby and sweeping Seward County.
Hutchinson and Butler will meet next weekend in El Dorado.
Cloud County (6-23) is in eighth place in the nine-team Jayhawk West with a 3-13 record. The Thunderbirds were swept last weekend by Garden City in Concordia.
Hutchinson comes off a midweek split with Oklahoma power Seminole State College. HCC dropped the first game 6-3 and rally from four runs down to defeat the Trojans 9-8. Redshirt freshman Matt Jones was 3 for 3 with two doubles and five RBIs in the come-from-behind victory.
Going to the mound to start the series this weekend for HCC is sophomore Kyle Simonds, who is 7-0 with a 2.21 ERA. Simonds has struck out 51 and walked just two this season.
Offensively, the Blue Dragons are led by freshman Jake Schleppenbach, who is hitting .406 with team highs of six home runs and 37 RBIs.