Newcomers shine against traditional BJCL powers
The three teams who joined or returned to the Ban Johnson Collegiate League this summer — Natural Baseball Academy, the MBC Academy Macaws and the Adapt Physical Therapy Prospects — opened split-doubleheader action Wednesday at Creekside Baseball Complex in Parkville with a trio of impressive wins, including two that provided season series victories.
NBA and the Macaws split doubleheaders earlier in the week against two of the BJCL’s traditional powers before claiming the season series. NBA topped the BJ Raiders 8-4 while the Macaws fended off the Creche Innovations Stars 7-5.
Meanwhile, the Prospects, who battled but got swept by the Ban Johnson Legends earlier in the week, earned an 8-4 win this time behind a strong starting effort from RHP Mitchell Szczygiel (Frisco [Texas] Centennial/Fort Scott CC).
NBA jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first two innings against the Raiders, but it was LF Carson Steiner’s (Olathe East/Missouri-St. Louis) two-run single in a three-run fourth that broke the game open.
Steiner, SS Blake Venneman (Olathe East/Allen CC) and 3B Cooper Hayden (Pittsburg/Neosho County CC) all finished with two hits, while 1B Ben Brandt (Shawnee Mission South/St. Mary) drove in three runs in the victory. Venneman scored four times for NBA.
After spotting the Stars a three-run lead in the top of the first, the Macaws pushed across six runs in its first two at-bats and held on for the win.
C Hunter Moffet (St. Thomas Aquinas/Benedictine) cranked a two-run double during a four-run second inning for what proved to be the game-winning runs. He finished 2-for-2 with a walk, two doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs.
Finally, the Prospects got four shutout innings from Szczygiel, who struck out five and allowed only three hits with no walks against the Legends.
That performance allowed the Prospects to build an eight-run lead during the first four innings.
2B Jake Galloway (Lee’s Summit West) had two-run singles in the third and fourth innings to power the Prospects into the lead. He finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs.
Regal claims season series vs. Mustangs, tops Prospects
RHP Jake Canent (Blue Valley North/Rockhurst) struck out eight in a two-hit shutout, leading Regal Plastic to a 4-0 victory and a win in the season series Wednesday against the Milgram Mustangs.
Two Mustangs errors led to a three-run third inning for Regal, which tacked on an insurance run with C Canton Sharp’s (Lee’s Summit North/State Fair CC) fifth-inning sacrifice fly.
SS Cole Slibowski (Lafayette/Northwest Missouri State) reached base four times, including two singles, and scored a run for Regal, which polished off a two-win evening with a walk-off 3-2 against Adapt Physical Therapy Prospects.
LF Max Pawela’s (Park Hill South/Colorado State-Pueblo) RBI single in the bottom of the seventh broke a 2-2 deadlock and gave Regal, which improved to a BJCL-best 10-3, a two-game lead in the American Division roughly halfway through the regular season.
RHP Jacob Ciafullo (Raytown/Southwestern [Iowa] CC) struck out seven in three shutout innings of relief midway through the game. He scattered four hits and a walk.
Knights top Giants, stun Legends
The KC Knights had lost 10 of 11 games entering Wednesday but broke out the brooms for a split doubleheader sweep against the NKC Apartments Giants and Ban Johnson Legends.
Nine proved to be the magic number in the Knights’ 9-4 win against the Giants and 9-8 comeback win against the Legends.
The Knights sent 15 batters to the plate in a nine-run third inning against the Giants, which featured four walks and five hit batters.
CF Joey Calamaio (Shawnee Mission South/MidAmerica Nazarene) and C Colin FitzGerald (Shawnee Mission East/Quincy [Illinois]) each had RBI singles with SS Luke Scalf (Rockwood Summit [Missouri]/Rockhurst) adding a three-run double during the onslaught.
Against the Legends, the Knights took control 4-1 with a four-run third inning — including RBI singles from Calamaio, 2B Jackson Truman (Lee’s Summit West/Emporia State) and LF Reece Hoover (De Soto/Northwestern [Iowa]) — but watched the lead evaporate over the next three innings.
The Knights trailed 8-5 entering the seventh before 1B BJ Walker (Piper/Park) cracked the go-ahead grand slam with two outs.
It was his second home run of the game, after hitting a solo shot in the sixth. He also doubled to finish 3-for-5 with three runs scored and five RBIs.
Walker even came on in relief and pitched a scoreless seventh inning, working around a hit and striking out two for the save.
Hoover also finished with three hits for the Knights, while CF Caleb Adams (Lansing/Kansas City Kansas CC) went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs for the Legends.
BC sweeps past Royals, Macaws
Building Champions improved to 8-5 on the season, moving into a tie for second place in the National Division with an 8-5 win against the MSBL Royals and a 13-3 run-rule victory against the MBC Academy Macaws in split-doubleheader action.
CF Chase Jans (Blue Valley/Kansas) and SS Tate Moody (Shawnee Mission East/Wichita State) socked back-to-back home runs for BC to lead off the bottom of the first and set the tone against the Royals.
With the game tied 5-5 in the fifth inning, 2B Wyatt Morgan (Olathe Northwest/Johnson County CC) pounded an RBI double to right and C Phillip Dudziak (Olathe South/Phoenix [Arizona] CC) followed two batters later with a two-run double, helping close out the win for RHP Dylan Graebener (Park Hill South/Johnson County CC), who struck out three and allowed a hit and three walks in three shutout relief innings.
BC used a nine-run fourth inning to power past the Macaws, breaking open what had been a 2-2 game.
Jans and LF Nicholas Dunn (Rockhurst/San Francisco) had RBI doubles in the frame, which C Sam McAleer (Blue Valley/Wichita State) capped with a three-run homer — his third of the week.
An inning later Jans’ RBI single spread the lead to 10 runs as BC walked off with another win.
Stars rebound against NBA
SS Jake Daneff (Park Hill/Emporia State) went 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored while his older brother, 3B Joseph Daneff (Park Hill/Emporia State), had two hits, including a home run, and scored three times as the Creche Innovations Stars dispatched Natural Baseball Academy 15-1 in five innings.
CF Chandler Miller (Basehor-Linwood/Barton CC) had a two-run double in a four-run first inning for the Stars, who scored 10 in the second inning for an overwhelming early lead.
DH Caden Matlon (Grain Valley/Dodge City CC) contributed a two-run double and 1B Devon Lujan (Olathe East/Friends) roped a three-run double during the second-inning run parade.
Raiders rally to top Royals
The BJ Raiders coughed up a two-run lead in the sixth inning against the MSBL Royals when CF Josh Holmes (Shawnee Mission West/Butler CC) cracked the game-tying two-run single, but manager Jake Bradshaw’s squad pulled back in front in the bottom of the frame for a 5-3 win.
CF Spencer Miller (Smithville/Metropolitan CC) lifted a sacrifice fly to put the Raiders back in front and RF Landrey Wilkerson (Van Buren [Arkansas]/Louisiana-Lafayette) smashed an RBI double for an insurance run in their own two-run sixth inning.
Both starting pitchers threw well, but didn’t factor into the decision. Royals RHP Thomas Ford (St. Thomas Aquinas/Newman) allowed only one earned run on two hits and three walks with three strikeouts in five innings while Raiders RHP Jake Johnson (Lee’s Summit North/Lindenwood [Missouri]) allowed only a run on three hits and two walks with five punchouts in four innings.
Giants outslug Mustangs
The NKC Apartments Giants and Milgram Mustangs each scored three first-inning runs, but it was the Giants who kept the bats going in a 10-4 win.
C Houston Penrod (Lee’s Summit West/Metropolitan CC) socked a three-run double in the third, which put the Giants in front 6-3, before CF Raymond Paniagua (Blue Springs/Barton CC), who went 3-for-4, had a two-run single and SS SJ Hunter (F.L. Schlagle/North Central Missouri) delivered an RBI knock in a four-run sixth to salt away the victory.