Cowley shuts out Thunderbirds 8-0 in Region VI playoffs
WICHITA — Brannon Jordan tossed a five-hit shutout as Cowley College shut out the Cloud County Thunderbirds 8-0 in the Region VI /Central District playoffs Wednesday afternoon at Eck Stadium.
Jordan pitched all seven innings for Cowley. He struck out five and didn't walk any.
“Hats off to Cowley. That was a heck of a pitching performance by their guy. He has a great arm and there is a reason he is going to the University of South Carolina,” Cloud County coach Eric Gilliland said, “To beat Cowley, you have to play very well and have a little good fortune on your side, and it just didn't go our way.”
Cloud County (33-23), making its first appearance in the playoffs at Eck Stadium, was scheduled to play Butler Community College (39-18) at 10:00 this morning in the double-elimination playoffs.
Butler was beaten 6-3 by Barton Community College.
In the other games played Wednesday, top-seeded Hutchinson Community College downed Fort Scott Community College 15-2 and Colby Community College got past Johnson County Community College 12-11.
Barton was to play Cowley today. Hutchinson takes on Colby and Fort Scott faces Johnson County.
Cloud County had a couple of opportunities to get to Jordan in the game, but couldn't come up with the big hit they needed.
The Thunderbirds trailed just 1-0 in the top of the fourth inning, then Jordan hit Grant Schmidt and Kade Wallace to lead off the inning.
Davis Pratt hit a deep fly ball that was hauled in at the warning track, and Jordan was able to work out of the jam.
“We had a few chances to score, squared some balls up, but they were hit right at people,” Gilliland said, “He didn't give up a run in his last start against Johnson County. He's very good, and when his back is against the wall, he's even better. His stuff got better and better as the game progressed and when men were on base.”
Cowley (41-12) broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning when Tyler Halstead scored on a single by Grady Davenport.
It was still a 1-0 game when Carson Sader doubled to drive in Milligan in the fifth inning, and the Tigers led 2-0.
Cowley extended the lead to 6-0 with four runs in the sixth inning.
Milligan had a two-run single in the inning.
The Tigers added two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to end the game because of the eight-run rule.
Josh Laukkanen pitched the first five innings for Cloud County and suffered the loss. He gave up five runs on nine hits, struck out two and walked three.
“I really thought Josh did a nice job of hanging with (Jordan), despite not being incredibly sharp,” Gilliland said, “We were hoping he'd settle into a groove, but unfortunately, never really was able to. He got out of a couple of jams early on, but it's hard to sustain that over and over again.”
Jack Theilen allowed three runs, one earned, on three hits and walked two in an inning and a third.
Connor Laux had two of the T-Birds' five hits in the game.
“Connor has played very well for us for quite a while now. He's responded in big moments and was really good for us,” Gilliland said.
Milligan was 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs batted in for Cowley.
Sader had two hits in four at bats and drove in two runs.
Davenport and George Specht had two hits each.