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Baseball Dragons Stay Alive with Record-Tying Victory


By Hutchinson CC Sports Information

WICHITA, Kan. ( – A pair of relief pitchers twirled six strong innings to help the No. 10-ranked Hutchinson Community College baseball team survive in the elimination bracket of the Plains District (Region VI) Tournament on Thursday at Eck Stadium.

The second-seeded Blue Dragons scored five early runs and the bullpen made those runs stand as Hutchinson defeated Dodge City 5-4 in a first-round elimination bracket matchup.

The victory keeps the Blue Dragons’ season alive. Hutchinson will play host to No. 3 seed Kansas City in a second-round elimination bracket game at 1 p.m. Friday. If the Blue Dragons win that game, they would play again at 7 p.m. against the Butler/Cowley winner – that game is Friday at 10 a.m.

No. 2 Hutchinson (47-12) vs. No. 3 Kansas City (47-11)
Plains District Tournament – Elimination Bracket 2nd Round
When: Friday, May 17, 2024
Where: Eck Stadium, Wichita, KS
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Video: KJCCC Network (Pay-Per-View), 12:55 p.m.
X: @bluedraognsport

Winner plays the Cowley/Butler 10 a.m. game winner at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Now 47-12 for the season, the Blue Dragons’ win on Thursday tied a school record with the 2002 and 2017 teams for the most wins in a single season.

With the Blue Dragons leading 5-3 after three innings, Hutchinson relievers Jacob Hadden and Caden Wanless combined for six innings of one-run, six-hit baseball with no walks and seven strikeouts.

Replacing Blue Dragon starter Bradley Neill in the fourth, Hadden worked four innings with four strikeouts and no walks. He allowed one run and three hits. The only blemish on Hadden’s performance was a leadoff home run by Dodge City’s Max Towchick in the seventh, which pulled the Conquistadors within 5-4.

Wanless entered the game in the eighth. After giving a leadoff bloop single, two batters later, Wanless induced an inning-ending 4-3 double play started by second baseman Hank Griffin. Wanless allowed a pair of ninth-inning singles, but got two strikeouts and a game-ending fielder’s choice to end the game.

Hadden (5-2) was credited with the pitching win. Wanless earned his sixth save of the season.

Offensively, the Blue Dragons did all their damage in the first three innings.

Trailing 2-0 after the top of the first, Blue Dragon leadoff hitter Kael Babin hit his first career home run in the bottom of the first inning to pull Hutchinson within 2-1.

The Blue Dragons tied and took the lead in the second. Cooper Wesslund tied the game when he scored on a Blake Bradford RBI groundout. Griffin gave the Dragons a 3-2 lead in the same inning with an RBI double that plated Jordan Tucker.

After Dodge City tied the game at 3-all with a solo home run in the top of the third, the Dragons built a two-run lead in the bottom of the third. Quinn Maher doubled home Colin Cymbalista for a 4-3 Hutchinson lead. Maher scored to make it 5-3 Blue Dragons on a Wesslund bunt single and Dodge City throwing error.

The Dragons, who were out-hit 12-11, had just three hits over their final five at-bats. Hutchinson stranded six runners on base.

Wesslund went 3 for 4 with a double and run scored to lead the Blue Dragons offensively.

Maher had his second-straight two-hit game of the tournament with an RBI double, RBI and run scored.

+ With a fourth inning single, Colin Cymbalista extended his consecutive-game hitting streak to a career-long 13 games.

+ With a second-inning bunt single, Jordan Tucker now has an eight-game hitting streak.

+ The Blue Dragons had two stolen bases in three attempts against Dodge City.

+ Cooper Wesslund had his team-high 25th multi-hit game this season and 10th game of three or more hits, also a team high.

+ Wesslund’s bunt single in the third inning was his team-high 15th bunt single this season. The Dragons have 26 bunt singles.

+ Thursday’s game was the 10th time the Blue Dragon pitching staff didn’t allow a walk in a game.