Fort Scott, KS- The T-Birds traveled to Fort Scott over the weekend and took on a Fort Scott team who advanced to the Region VI Final Four in 2015. It was the season opener for the Greyhounds.
Game 1: Cloud County 4 Fort Scott 5
Fort Scott struck first in the bottom of the first. They would push two runs across on an RBI triple and an error by Cloud County shortstop Gabriel Jacobo. T-Bird starting pitcher, Alex Torkelson settled in after that, retiring the next nine in a row to keep the Greyhounds in check into the 5th.
Alixon Herrera sparked a 4th inning rally for the T-Birds. Herrera led off the inning with a single and Jacob Grady followed with a double. Cloud would plate two runs on four hits in the top of the 4th to tie it at 2-2. Jose Chacin had an RBI single in the inning as well.
Cloud struck again in the 5th. Jake Wells led off the inning with a double and scored on a sac fly by Bryce Lievens. Anthony Johnson then ripped a two out RBI single and the T-Birds had their first lead at 4-2.
Fort Scott answered in the bottom of the 5th as they rallied to grab the lead back 5-4, scoring three runs and chasing Torkelson from the game.
Cole Otto came in to escape the jam and pitch a scoreless 6th. The T-Birds went down in order in the 7th and Fort Scott won game one 5-4.
Six T-Birds had hits in game one. Grady was 2-3 with a double. Lievens drove in two runs.
Torkelson was strong into the 5th but ran into trouble there. He went 4 1/3 innings allowing five runs, four earned. He struck out three and walked two.
Game 2: Cloud County 4 Fort Scott 5
Fort Scott won game two in walk-off fashion. Cloud carried a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning. The T-Birds received a strong start from freshman lefthander John Stiger.
Stiger left the game in the 5th inning up 3-2 with runners on first and third and nobody out. Chris Langin came on in relief of Stiger and promptly hit the next batter to load the bases. Cloud County coach Greg Brummett went to the bullpen again and called on LHP Jared Winter to get the T-Birds out of the jam. Winter is a third year sophomore who missed last season with an injury. In his first appearance of the 2016 season, Winter found his way out of the bases loaded, nobody out jam to keep the lead and head to the 6th.
Both teams went scoreless in the 6th and Cloud County added an insurance run in the top of the 7th to lead 4-2.
Winter loaded the bases in the bottom of the 7th and the T-Birds turned to the RHP Otto with bases loaded and nobody out. Fort Scott followed with a double and a sac fly to walk off the T-Birds by the final score of 5-4.
Jose Chacin was was 3-3 in the game.
Stiger scattered six hits over 4.0 innings. He allowed two runs, one earned.
Game 3: Cloud County 3 Fort Scott 4
It was the same script in game three as the T-Birds lost a late lead as Fort Scott used a two out, two RBI double in the bottom of the sixth to grab a 4-3 lead and win game three.
Cloud scored first with a two run first inning thanks to a Jacob Grady double.
T-Bird starter Zach Holmes held the Greyhounds in check through the first two innings before surrendering single runs in the third and fourth to tie the game at two going to the 5th inning.
Cloud would take the lead back in the top of the 6th on an RBI single from Chacin, scoring Grady.
Fort Scott was able to get to Cloud County reliever JW Maldaner in the bottom of the sixth with the two out double to plate the eventual winning run.
Grady was 2-3 in game three
The freshman LHP, Holmes, went 3 1/3 allowing one unearned run. He struck out three and walked four.
Game 4: Cloud County 1 Fort Scott 6
The T-Birds were held in check by Fort Scott starter Matt Hicks in game four. Cloud was unable to get to the sophomore righthander who threrw five shutout innings for the Greyhounds.
Cloud was able to get on the board in the 7th on an RBI single from Jake Wells.
Third year sophomore Kasey Biddle threw a scoreless inning of relief in the 6th for Cloud County. Biddle missed last season due to injury and his outing against Fort Scott was his first time in a game since April 19, 2014.
With the series in Fort Scott being pushed back, Cloud will now have a short turnaround as they head to Highland on Saturday and Sunday. The T-Birds will play two with Highland and two with North Iowa Area Community College this weekend.