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Cavaliers stay alive with walk-off come-from-behind win

Chris Esposito belted a 3-run home run to help JCCC to a come-back win over Ft. Scott
Chris Esposito belted a 3-run home run to help JCCC to a come-back win over Ft. Scott

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Johnson County freshman infielder/outfielder Vince Donato ripped a double down the line to score sophomore second baseman Mason Hartman for a walk-off 9-8 victory over Fort Scott Community College in the consolation bracket of the Central District Tournament at Eck Stadium in Wichita. That capped an impressive come-from-behind victory for the Cavaliers 

Facing elimination, Johnson County trailed the Greyhound five runs, 7-2 when they came to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning. When Fort Scott finally got the third out, the Cavaliers had scored six runs to take an 8-9 lead. 

The big blow came from Chris Esposito. With All-American first baseman Malik Williams and Donato on base, the sophomore shortstop belted a three-run home run that chased Fort Scott starter Bo Dallas from the game. Up until that point, Dallas had allowed just three hits and two runs.  

Matt Duley took his place, and the Cavaliers added three more runs to take the lead, all with two outs on the board. 

The Greyhounds did manage to push a run across in the top of the ninth to tie the game 9-9, setting the stage for Donato's thrilling ending. 

Freshman right-hander Trey Ziegenbein started and pitched 6.2 innings. He gave up seven earned runs off 11 hits, but did strikeout 11 batters. Sophomore right-hander Dylan Bierman closed out the game, allowing just one run off one hit with three strikeouts to earn his sixth victory of the season 

Johnson County (46-11) advances to play Barton on Friday, May 17 at 10 a.m.