Cloud County Baseball Ends Season with 9-0 Loss to Butler Community College

Cloud County's Demitri Shakotko Added One Final Hit on Thursday, May 16th to Set the New Single-Season Hits Record for Cloud County at 94 Hits
Cloud County's Demitri Shakotko Added One Final Hit on Thursday, May 16th to Set the New Single-Season Hits Record for Cloud County at 94 Hits

Facing a must-win situation to keep their season alive for at least one more day, the Cloud County Community College baseball team was limited to just three hits and seven total base runners as part of a 9-0, eight-inning defeat to Butler Community College in the 2024 NJCAA Plains District Baseball Tournament held at Eck Stadium in Wichita, Kansas on Thursday, May 16th.

Seeing their season end with a 40-21 overall record, Cloud County finishes off a three-year stretch with 119 total wins and a pair of 40-win seasons while dropping the season series to Butler with the Grizzlies winning their third game over the T-Birds in five matchups this season. Butler advances to another elimination game on Saturday morning at 10 AM against Cowley Community College who dropped a 9-8 decision to Barton on Thursday afternoon.

After being unable to come up with key hits with runners on base in Wednesday night's loss to number-15 Kansas City Kansas Community College, Cloud County was limited in their opportunities with runners on base on Thursday with two of their three total hits coming in the third inning with a Cam MaCleod single and Gavin Roy bunt single down the third-base line both getting stranded with an infield fly, sacrifice bunt groundout, and infield popup ending the inning. Having surrendered a single run to the Grizzlies in the top of the third with a leadoff walk coming around to score on a sacrifice fly, CCCC managed to limit BCC to one run until the top of the sixth when Butler put three-straight one-out batters safely on base to knock Cloud County starting pitcher Noah Bourgeois from the contest following a two-RBI ground-rule double from Brock Toothaker. Following the pitching change, the Grizzlies used a stolen base to set up a sacrifice fly to bring home a third run in the inning to extend their lead to 4-0 with two hits in each of their scoring innings proving to be the difference through six innings.

A quick one-two-three inning for the T-Birds with a trio of groundouts to end the sixth, Cloud County kept Butler from adding to their lead in the seventh only to see a two-out Grizzly rally start with a single to left field followed by a hit batter and walk to load the bases. A bases-clearing double broke the game open for good with BCC going on to score five runs on four hits and a Cloud County error in the top of the eighth to grab a 9-0 lead and put CCCC in a position to have to score at least two runs to extend the game into the ninth. With the offense being kept in check through seven innings of play, Cloud County put together one of their best scoring chances of the game in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out walk for Austin Coyle followed by a Demitri Shakotko single only to see a game-ending strikeout conclude CCCC's time in Wichita.

Sophomores Shakotko and Roy along with freshman MaCleod accounted for the only three T-Bird hits of the game as Butler outhit Cloud County 8-3 in the contest and had all five extra-base hits in the game. Limiting their strikeouts to only three, CCCC was only able to draw two walks and a hit batter to go along with the three hits with the offensive output being limited to one run across 17 innings of baseball over the course of two games. Bourgeois and relief pitcher Jack MacIntosh combined to strike out nine batters while giving up four runs each with the Grizzlies taking advantage of five walks, four hit batters, and a complete-game effort on the mound from starter Dayton Pelfrey.