DODGE CITY - Freshman Tyler Coufal made his first career start a memorable one tossing a complete game as the Jayhawk West champion Hutchinson Community College baseball team defeated Dodge City 5-4 in the third game of a Jayhawk West series on Sunday at Cavalier Field.
Dodge City won the series finale 13-5, scoring 11 run in its first three at-bats to close out the conference season.
No. 20 Hutchinson finished 7-1-0 in Jayhawk West series' this season, the most ever since the league went to the four-game weekend format before the 2008 season. The Blue Dragons were 23-9 in conference play, winning the league by two games.
The Blue Dragons (41-14) will now play host to Allen in the opening round of the Central District (Region VI) Tournament at Hobart-Detter Field next Saturday and Sunday. Official pairings for the tournament and game times for the opening-round series with the Red Devils will be announced late Monday or early Tuesday.
GAME 1 RECAP
Coming off a relief appearance where he threw a career-best 5 2-3 innings against Barton last weekend, Coufal was handed the ball for his first career start on Sunday. He tossed a complete game - Hutchinson's 10th complete game of the season - scattering eight hits, including a home run. Only two of the four runs allowed by Coufal were earned. He struck out five and walked one.
After two scoreless innings, Coufal allowed a two-run home run to Jordan Doan to cut HCC's three-run lead to 3-2. After that, Coufal settled and allowed just two singles over the next four innings. Getting the first two Dodge City hitters in the seventh, a single and walk set up an infield single and a throwing error to plate two unearned runs and place the tying run at third base. Coufal got cleanup hitter Parker Jones to pop up for the final out of the game,
Coufal is now 6-0 in his freshman season.
The Blue Dragons made their six hits count.
Matt Sutliffe hit his first home run of the season, sending a 3-2 pitch over the right-field wall with one out in the second to get the Blue Dragons on the board.
In the third inning, Jake Bublitz doubled off the base of the centerfield wall to drive in Gabe Wurth and Jake Schleppenbach for a 3-0 Blue Dragon lead.
In the fourth, the Wurth dropped down a push bunt that eluded three Dodge City players and tricked into shallow right field. Schroer scored from third and Joel Frias scored all the way from first with the help of a throwing error for a 5-1 Blue Dragon lead.
Wurth had the only multi-hit game for the Blue Dragons in Game 1, going 2 for 3 with one run and one RBI. Schleppenbach, Bublitz and Jordan Schroer all had doubles. Four of HCC's six hits were for extra bases.
GAME 2 RECAP
Bobby Moretti had a nightmarish start allowing six unearned runs in the first inning. Dodge City kept pounding away and scored 11 runs in the first three innings to take total control of the series finale.
The losing pitcher, Moretti (2-6) had his shorted start of the season, lasting just plus innings. He faced 15 batters and 11 reached base. Moretti was charged with nine runs, three earned. He had three strikeouts.
Trailing 11-1 after three innings, the Blue Dragons started to build some momentum in the fourth inning. Frias led off with a single to right field and went to second on a fielding error. He scored on Kyler Lambert's RBI triple. Schleppenbach and Bublitz added RBI singles and the lead were cut to 11-4. The inning could have been more for HCC, but Matt Sutliffe was robbed of extra bases and two RBIs when Doan chased down his slicing line drive to right-center field and made the play with a head-first dive to end the inning.
Frias added a solo home run in the sixth, but Dodge City relief pitcher Bryan Mcelroy shut the Dragons down over the final four innings. Chase Wilson (6-1) was the winning pitcher working the first five innings.
Frias led the Blue Dragons going 3 for 4 with a homer, two runs and one RBI. Schleppenbach was 1 for 4 with two RBIs. Lambert was 1 for 4 with a triple, two runs and an RBI. Bennett Oliver broken an 0-for-9 slump with a third inning double.