Hutchinson Monarchs win NBC opener

08/12/2012 8:16 AM

08/12/2012 8:16 AM

Hutchinson Monarchs outfielder Scott Splett is in his second year with the collegiate summer baseball team, but he hasn’t let learned to delegate.

After hitting a ninth-inning, three-run home run that powered the Monarchs to a 6-3 win on Saturday over the Davy Jones Cardinals from Denver, Splett grabbed the biggest equipment bag the team has and lugged it down the third-base line.

Splett’s humility and unassuming nature allows Hutchinson coach Deron McCue to use him in a variety of ways with the assurance that Splett won’t fuss.

Splett has the ability to hit in the middle of the order, but his versatility is an asset in the leadoff spot, where he hit to lead the Monarchs to a win in the National Baseball Congress World Series opener at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Carrying equipment wasn’t a big deal for Splett, nor was carrying out a successful approach in his clutch at-bat in the ninth.

“I’m just part of the team,” Splett said. “I might as well carry my part of it, too.”

Splett signed with South Dakota State after he played at Iowa Central Community College last season, and his homer Saturday gave him the team record with five in two years. Splett is the team’s most notable power threat, but his aptitude allows him to be successful in many situations for the Monarchs in a variety of ways.

That well-roundedness was in effect Friday, when he bunted for a single in the third. Splett was probably the perfect player to have at-bat with two runners in scoring position and no outs in the ninth, when virtually all he needed to do was put the ball in play to produce a run.

Cardinals closer Kaden Koch was struggling in his third inning on relief, and by the ninth his off-speed pitches had lost their bite. After a wild pitch on a slider scored the tying run, Koch grooved a fastball that Splett deposited over the wall in left field.

“He can hit 1 through 5 (in the batting order),” McCue said. “He adjusts to wherever he bats in the lineup and he does a good job. If I’ve got him leading off, he knows how to get on base, but if I’ve got him in the three-hole he’ll hit for power, too.”

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