After sweeping their first doubleheader in some time Monday, the Kansas Cannons slipped back into their habit of splitting them.
That’s what happened June 27 as the Valley Center Diamond Dawgs held on for a 7-5 victory in the nightcap after the Cannons had won the opener 13-12 in thrilling fashion.
The opener was reminiscent of the teams’ 12-11 donnybrook June 14, won by the Dawgs on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. This time is was Scott Sammons with a dramatic two-out, bases-empty home run in the bottom of the seventh that was the winning blow in a 13-12 decision.
Down 8-3 in the fifth, the Cannons tied the game on RBI singles by Tory Stoffregen, Blaine Hashagen, James Threw and Ty Kildow. The other run crossed on a suicide squeeze by Taylor Fish.
Valley again surged in front, 11-8, in the fourth. The Cannons put up four of their own in the bottom of the inning. A two-run single by Riley Price tied the game, and Kildow’s RBI single put the Cannons up 12-11.
When the Dawgs tied the game 12-all one more time on a double steal in the top of the fifth, fans began to wonder if the game would ever end. But end it did with Sammons’ dinger in the seventh.
Sammons continued hit hot hitting by going 4 for 5 with two RBIs and three runs scored
The second game started in similar fashion with the Diamond Dawgs scoring five times in the first. Four of those runs came on a grand slam by Brandon Mikulka. He finished the night with 10 RBIs, adding a pair of three-run home runs in the first.
Ben French came on to pitch after Mikulka’s slam. He blanked Valley Center over five innings, allowing just one hit but walking four while striking out eight.
The Dawgs scored twice in the sixth against Ryan Hahn to give them a 7-2 lead.
The Cannons rallied in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs, but fell a little bit short. Kildow’s one-out single to center scored two, and Price followed that with a single that made it 7-5, Dawgs, and left the Cannons with runners at the corners and just one out. But Sammons and Stoffregen struck out to end the game.
Kildow had two hits and two RBIs, while Sammons had a pair of hits and knocked in one run.
The Cannons, now 14-10 overall and 12-9 in league, play single games June 29 in Newton and June 30 in Hutchinson before returning home for a doubleheader at 2 and 4 p.m. July 1 against Topeka.