BLUE DRAGONS OPEN WITH WEST RIVAL SEWARD COUNTY FRIDAY IN WICHITA
While the No. 18 Hutchinson Community College baseball team took care of business at home on Saturday to open the Central District Tournament, the Blue Dragons' first-round opponent in Wichita had a much tougher time punching its ticket.
The Blue Dragons will square off against Jayhawk West rival Seward County in the fourth of four opening-round contests on Friday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Hutchinson (42-15), the tournament's second overall seed swept Allen in an opening-round series on Saturday at Hobart-Detter Field 3-0 and 4-1. It's the first time since the World Series year of 2010 that the Blue Dragons have advanced to Wichita.
Tenth-seeded Seward County was on the road at Neosho County in the most intriguing of all eight opening-round matchups. The Saints (31-27) won the series opener 9-8 in 10 innings and appeared headed for a sweep, but Neosho County rallied for a 5-4 walk-off victory in Game 2. Seward County dominated Game 3, winning in a 12-2 seven-inning run rule on Sunday.
Friday's opening-round matchups of the eight-team double-elimination tournament are: 10 a.m. - No. 1 Johnson County (44-11) vs. No. 9 Kansas City (36-20) 1 p.m. - No. 4 Garden City (36-21) vs. No. 5 Coffeyville (37-17) 4 p.m. - No. 3 Cowley (36-15) vs. No. 6 Butler (36-21) 7 p.m. - No. 2 Hutchinson (42-15) vs. No. 10 Seward County (31-27)
The Blue Dragons earned a first-ever series sweep of Seward County on March 22-23 at Hobart-Detter Field. HCC won the first two games 5-0 and 5-4, and then won the Sunday games 4-2 and 18-13.
The Blue Dragon/Saints winner will play the Cowley/Butler winner at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The losers' will play at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Hutchinson is looking for its fourth overall Region VI championship, previously winning in 1975, 2005 and 2010. HCC has previously gone to the NJCAA World Series twice, finishing 1-2 in 2005 and took third place in 2010.
All games will be videostreamed by the Blue Dragon Sports Network.