The Pratt Community College baseball team split with Butler County in a 4-game series at El Dorado to bring their regular season to a close and establish playoff positions.
On Sunday, the Beavers dropped both ends of the twin bill, 9-8 and 7-3. They were able to salvage the split by sweeping Monday’s doubleheader 7-4 and 7-5.
In Sunday’s opener, PCC had an early 5-0 lead, but the Grizzlies came back to tie the game in the third inning. Justin Crouch hit a 2-run big-fly to give Pratt the lead back in the 4th, but Butler kept chipping away and eventually plated a pair in the bottom of the 7th to take the 9-8 come-from-behind walk-off victory.
Pratt was ahead for most of the game again in Sunday’s nightcap, up 3-1 going into the bottom of the 8th. The Grizzlies struck for 6 runs in that frame, in part thanks to the generosity of the Beaver defense—who committed 6 errors in the contest. Justin Crouch again led the Beaver offense, going 3-4, but it was not enough as the Butlers took game two 7-3.
In Monday’s opener, the Beavers’ backs were to the wall as they needed a win to make it into the post-season playoffs. Daniel Tockhorn and Tyler Huffstickler shared mound duties for Pratt, giving up only 4 runs between them. Pratt got into the lead in the 4th inning, a two-RBI double by Jake Siroky keying a 4-run Beaver rally. Pratt closed out the game on top 7-4.
In the series finale, the Beavers were jockeying for playoff positioning. A loss would match them up with #2 ranked Cowley County in the opening round. A win would get them a more advantageous seeding.
A win is what they got. Pitcher Clayton Banks made his first conference start for PCC and acquitted himself well. He only gave up four hits with six strikeouts in 5 innings of work. The Grizzlies were able to tally 5 runs on those 4 hits, however, again thanks to PCC defensive miscues.
The Beavers played long ball to get the crucial victory—scoring all 7 of their runs in the game on 5 home runs. Jake Siroky, Johnny Lassiter, BJ Dean, Justin Crouch and Jordan Jones all went deep, with Dean’s and Siroky’s each 2-run shots.
Colton Glover was the set-up man and Tyler Huffstickler was again the closer—his second on the day, as Pratt took the 7-5 decision.
The series split meant that PCC ends the season with a 22-26 overall record and a 12-18 conference record—placing them 7th in the Jayhawk West. They will travel to Ft. Scott Saturday for a best 2 out of 3 series, with the “if necessary” game on Sunday.
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