Garden City, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–After taking the first game of the four-game series Friday night, Garden City split with Longview, MO on Saturday on a 90-degree and windy day at Williams Stadium, hanging on for a 3-2 victory in game one and dropping the doubleheader finale 9-4.
Buster skipper Chris Finnegan said in his pregame interview Saturday, that there could be quite a few deep balls hit, thanks in part to a warm an windy conditions. Garden City got their first run of the game in the bottom of the first, with a Tyler Tucker inside the park home run to lead 1-0. Tucker led off the third inning with a triple, and two batters later, Rocky Desantis drove him in to make it 2-0 after three innings. Pitcher Chris Bonk was solid in his 6 1/3 innings pitched. Bonk faced the minimum through the first 3 1/3 innings. Longview picked up their first hit in the fourth inning with one out. The Busters picked up an insurance run in the sixth inning, on a two-out solo home run by Tyler Alitz to make it 3-0 Garden City. That run proved to be big in the end. In the seventh the Lakers led off with a Zach Morgan double, followed by a pop up, and four straight walks. After Marcus McKinney walked the lone batters he faced in relief of Bonk, Austin Aspegren was able to get a foul out and froze Jared Gage on strike three on a full count with the bases loaded and two outs to pick up the save. Garden City outhit Longview 6-3 to clinch at least a split in the four-game series.
Longview continued their momentum from the end of the first game in the beginning of the second game. With two outs in the top of the first, Zach Morgan drove the ball over the wall for a two-run home run to give the Lakers the early 2-0 lead. Garden City would score a run in each of the first three innings. A Rocky Desantis double drove in Kaleb Zimmer cut the deficit to 2-1 in the first, and Cale Dineen’s Sacrifice fly in the second inning tied the game that scored Francsco Alvarez. In the third inning, Desantis drove the first pitch of the inning over the left center field wall to give the Busters a 3-2 lead. The lead, however, would be short lived. Garden City starter Dalton Shalberg threw 27 fourth inning pitches, and was pulled with two outs in the inning, after he gave up six runs on six hits. The Lakers scored five runs on three hits in the fourth inning, as they batted around, and they never looked back. Longview tacked on a lead-off home run from Jamie Graeser in the fifth and a Colton Hilbrenner single in the seventh scored Dylan Farrell. Garden City did cut the deficit to 8-4 in the fifth inning, on a double by Tyler Alitz that scored Rocky Desantis. Longview’s Dylan Riley went six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits in six innings of work.
The Busters will go for the series win Sunday at 12 pm, with pregame coverage beginning at 11:45 online at www.westernkansasnews.com.