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Dragons Head to Fort Scott to Open Region VI

Sterling Sutcliffe and the Blue Dragon Baseball team open the 2022 Region VI Tournament on Wednesday at Fort Scott. (Sammi Carpenter/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
By Hutchinson CC Sports Information

The Hutchinson Community College baseball team will start the postseason on the road Wednesday when the Blue Dragons take on the Fort Scott Greyhounds in the opening round of the Region VI Tournament.

The 10th-seeded Blue Dragons and seventh-seeded Greyhounds will play a best-of-3 series for the right to advance to the eight-team Central District Tournament next week at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan.

All three games of the opening-round series will begin at 1 p.m. with Games 1 and 2 on Wednesday and Thursday and the Game 3, if necessary, on Friday. The Hutchinson-Fort Scott winner will play the Barton-Labette series winner next Tuesday in Manhattan.

All games will be streamed live by Fort Scott video.

The Blue Dragons enter the postseason on a six-game winning streak and 13 wins in their last 16 games. Over that span, the Blue Dragons are averaging 11.6 runs per game – Hutchinson has scored in double figures in six-straight games – and hitting .389 as a team with 29 home runs. The Blue Dragons, in the first 39 games of the season were hitting only .298 and averaged 7.4 runs per game.

The Dragons pitching staff are allowing 7.6 runs per game with an opponent batting average of .290. In the first 39 games, the Dragon team ERA was 7.07.

Leading the way offensively for the Blue Dragons is sophomore third baseman 

Ben McLaughlin

, who is hitting .429 with 19 home runs and 78 RBIs. McLaughlin also has 21 doubles and 66 runs scored while fielding .995.

Designated hitter 

Braedyn Sommer

 is hitting .396 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs. Right-fielder 

Sterling Sutcliffe

 has 28 home runs and 54 RBIs.

On the mound, the Blue Dragons are led by starter 

Jack Whitlock

, who is 7-3 with a 3.41 ERA. 

Reed Scott

 has a team-high four saves.

Fort Scott is hitting .355 and have hit a league-best 106 home runs this season. The Greyhounds are averaging 8.9 runs per game. The Greyhounds have a 6.51 team ERA.

Brody Szako is hitting .403 with 19 home runs and 39 RBIs to lead the Greyhounds. Mitchell Szczygiel is hitting .402 with four homers and 43 RBIs. Jake Skaggs has 18 home runs and 59 RBIs.

Freshman Jesse Moreno is the top pitcher for the Greyhounds with a 6-2 record and a 6.02 ERA.

The last time Hutchinson and Fort Scott played in the postseason was the opening round of the 2019 Central District Tournament when the Blue Dragons defeated Fort Scott 15-2 in five innings at Eck Stadium in Wichita.

The Dragons and Greyhounds met in a best-of-3 opening-round series only once since this format started in 2004. Fort Scott came to Hobart-Detter Field and defeated the Blue Dragons in two games in 2015.