Following a nine-spot jump in the latest NJCAA Baseball poll, the No. 6-ranked Cowley College baseball team backed up its ranking by blasting Butler Community College 14-4 Wednesday in El Dorado.
Cowley led just 5-4 heading into the ninth inning before erupting for nine runs in its final at bat. Mike Parker's three-run homer highlighted the nine-run uprising.
Dylan Delso got the scoring started for the Tigers with a three-run homer in the top of the first inning. However, Butler came back to tie the game at 4-4 by scoring four runs, two of which were earned, against Tiger reliever Alex Graham, of Broken Arrow, Okla., in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Cowley regained the lead on a RBI single by Delso in the top of the fifth inning. Delso finished the game 4-for-5 with four RBIs and was only a double away from hitting for the cycle.
Nine of Cowley's 17 hits came in the nine-run ninth inning.
"That ninth inning was very impressive. We had a good approach at the plate and hit a lot of balls hard," Cowley assistant coach Darren Burroughs said.
Parker and leadoff batter AJ Shaw, of Wichita, Kan., added three hits apiece, while Shaw drove in three runs and scored three times.
Graham shook off the bumpy fourth inning to retire the final seven batters he faced. Graham would earn the win by striking out four and walking none in three innings of relief.
Graham, Tyler Day, of Kansas City, Kan., and Seth Holman, of Wichita, Kan., combined to shut Butler out over the game's final five innings of play. Ryan Jenkins, of Wellington, started on the mound for Cowley and pitched a scoreless first inning. Garret Hoover then followed with two hitless innings of relief before handing the ball over to Graham.
Jackson Rolfs started on the mound for Butler and allowed three runs in one inning. The Grizzlies' Greg Houser took the loss by allowing the go-ahead run in the fifth inning.
Cowley is now 22-4 overall, while Butler drops to 10-10. The Tigers have won eight games in a row and 18 of its past 19 as they lead the Jayhawk Conference in runs per game (8.3) and runs allowed per game (3.4).
"It's always good to get a win midweek against a quality opponent like Butler," Burroughs said.
The Tigers will host Kansas City in a four-game series Friday and Saturday in Arkansas City. The games on Friday and Saturday will begin at 2 p.m. The Blue Devils are currently 12-7 overall and are in third place in the Jayhawk East with a conference record of 8-4.
"?I feel we are ready for Kansas City, but they have a good club and are well coached," Burroughs said. "We look forward to the challenge."
Page 2 of 2 - Score by inning: R H E
Cowley 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 9 14 17 2
Butler 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 1