By Rebecca Carney
The Hutchinson Community College baseball team completed a four-game sweep of the Colby Trojans on Saturday and took charge of the Jayhawk West championship chase with a week to go in the regular season.
The Blue Dragons rallied from three runs down twice in the first game Saturday at Hobart-Detter Field to force extra innings and won on a walk-off error in a 7-6 come-from-behind victory.
Mike Brown and Ryan Summers then combined on a six-hit shutout as the Blue Dragons downed Colby 5-0 in the series finale.
Winners of eight games in a row, the Blue Dragons improve to a season-high 20 games over .500 at 36-16.
The Blue Dragons maintain their two-game lead over Butler in the Jayhawk West with a 20-8 record. Colby falls four games off the pace and is tied with Cloud County at 30-18 overall, 16-12 in the West.
HutchCC earned its first series sweep over Colby since 2008.
Entering the series, the Blue Dragons and the Trojans were tied for first place in the Jayhawk West.
HutchCC and Cloud County will finish a four-game series Saturday at Cloud County.
Softball – The HutchCC softball team will enter the 2019 postseason riding a 16-game winning streak after a Jayhawk Conference doubleheader sweep of Northwest Kansas Tech on Wednesday.
The Blue Dragons posted a pair of mercy-rule shutouts with wins of 8-0 and 9-0.
The Blue Dragons close the regular season at 26-14. HutchCC placed third in the Jayhawk East at 17-9. The Blue Dragons will open play in the 2019 Region 6 Tournament on Friday at Dodge City’s Legends Park. Northwest Tech closes its season at 1-44 and 1-25. The Mavericks have lost 23 games in a row.
Three Blue Dragon pitchers – Maryssa Rollin, Madison Lewellen and Megan Davis – combined to limit Northwest Tech to seven hits in the doubleheader as Hutchinson posted its sixth and seventh shutouts of the season.
Golf – The men’s golf team punched its ticket for the NJCAA National Golf Championship for the 19th consecutive season on Monday.
The No. 8-ranked Blue Dragons had two of their best rounds of the season on Monday at Wildhorse Golf Club, with rounds of 1-over 289 and 4-under 284 to finish second in the NJCAA District 3 Championship, with a 36-hole total of 573.
HutchCC now advances to the NJCAA Division I Championships – which will be May 14-17 at Duran Country Club in Melbourne, Florida – for the 22nd time in program history and for the 19th consecutive season under head coach Chris Young.
The Blue Dragons also captured their 19th Region 6 team championship, the first since 2016. The District 3 and Region 6 Tournaments are jointly contested in the same tournament each year.
Freshman Charlie Crockett made Blue Dragon history on Monday by becoming the first Hutch men’s golfer to win both District 3 and Region 6 individual championships in the same season.
The tournament was declared official after Tuesday’s final round was canceled on Monday night, as rain and cold weather made conditions unplayable.
HutchCC led No. 2 Indian Hills by three strokes and No. 5 Iowa Western by seven shots after the first round. Hutch’s afternoon round was five strokes better at 4-under 284 with Crockett, Peyton Austin and Charlie Herbert all shooting under par. But Indian Hills posted a 10-under-par score of 278 to surpass the Blue Dragons for the team lead.
Women’s Basketball – The third and fourth members of the 2019 Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team announced where they will be playing next year.
Sophomore Jada Mickens announced that she is signing with the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Sophomore Tijuana Kimbro signed a national letter of intent at East Tennessee State.
Mickens and Kimbro join Dejanae Roebuck and Tia Bradshaw as 2019 signees. Roebuck and Kimbro both signed with Texas-El Paso last week.
They are the 31st and 32nd players to sign with Division I programs since John Ontjes took over the program before the 2007-08 season. They are the 53rd and 54th players to move on to a four-year program under coach John Ontjes.