Dodge City, KS (westernkansasnews.com) After a day off for rainy weather Saturday the series between Garden City and Dodge City Community College’s continued on Sunday and the Broncbuster bats were in full swing.
GCCC could not hold on to a 5-3 lead in the sixth inning of game two and the result is a split of the two games, Garden winning the first contest 14-0 and losing 8-7 in game two. Dodge City takes 3 out of four in the series to keep a share of first place in the Jayhawk West. The three wins from the Conquistadors in the series came on a total of four runs.
Game One Highlights
The first game started out well for the Broncbusters and kept building from there. It began when Connor Reynolds clubbed his team leading 13th homer of the year off DC right hander Joe Buckendorf (3-3). The blast which hung the line in right before going over the wall gave Garden City an early 1-0 lead.
Garden maintained their 1-0 lead until the fifth when they scored four more. Reynolds added a double off the wall in left-center plating shortstop Ty Lightley. Alex Nielsen followed with a RBI single and then Jesse Gonzales followed with a two run single knocking Buckendorf from the game.
All this offense was enough for Ryder Yakel (4-2) to take the drivers seat on the mound for the Broncbusters. Yakel survived a three single first inning from the Conqs and then would allow just one hit the rest of the game. For Yakel it was his first win since March 5th at Colby and his third complete game of the season sparking the Broncbusters first shutout of the season.
If possessing a 5-0 lead heading into the sixth was not enough, Garden City blew the doors wide open with a nine run sixth inning helped by four hit batters from Conqs reliever Jeremy Hidalgo. As part of the inning, GCCC catcher Ty Barclay singled in two, Rafael Villela added a run scoring single and Billy Clark knocked in a run with a double.
Yakel took care of business in the bottom of the sixth to seal up a run rule shortened 14-0 win. For Dodge it was only their second loss at home this season dropping their mark at Cavalier Field to 9-2-1.
Game Two Highlights
Game two Dodge City turned the tables on GCCC starting pitcher Kendrick Catron and the Broncbusters by striking first.
Dauson Tate launched his eighth homer of the year to the left of the scoreboard in leftfield in giving Dodge (22-9-1, 12-4) a 2-0 lead.
Brayden Cook laced a RBI single to right in the second to push the Conqs lead to 3-0. Then Catron settled down and did not encounter any more problems until the sixth. His offense would help give their starting pitcher the lead when Garden City scored four runs all with two outs in the third inning.
Cole Brandon an honorable mention all conference pitcher for Dodge City shutout Garden City last season in a 6-0 win. This year the Broncbusters finally figured him out.
After Ty Lightley bounced into a 6-4-3 double play emptying the bases with two outs the next six batters reached base consecutively. After three straight singles loaded the bases, Alex Nielsen drew a bases loaded walk as Dodge City’s lead slipped to 3-1. Jesse Gonzales then drove in two runs with a single and Ty Barclay continued his hot hitting with a tie breaking single to left center giving the Broncbusters their first lead of game two 4-3.
Garden City added an insurance run in the sixth inning on second baseman’s Alex Eskridge’s RBI double bringing in Villela and stretching the Garden City lead to 5-3.
Catron who had been so solid through five innings had a little trouble closing out the sixth and it cost him his opportunity for a win.
Isaak Snyder’s two out walk brought up Conqs shortstop Cole Bergdall who promptly homered just inside the pole down the leftfield line for his second homer of the year. The two run blast tied the game at 5-5 and knocked Catron from the game.
Dillan Feuerstein took over in relief to get the final out of the sixth, but then in the seventh with two on and two out after striking out rightfielder Jon Coss, Jake Pederson a guy who had one hit in 12 at-bats all weekend gave Dodge the lead when his single to rightfield brought in Dauson Tate. Robert Perea then followed with another run scoring single off left reliever Mitchell Savine sending home Talon Schaller.
Dodge City added another insurance run in the eighth after Ray Monje walked the first two he faced, Brayden Cook’s sac bunt set the stage for Tate’s sac-fly to center in giving the Conqs a three run lead for their closer Dalton Harvey.
Harvey who saved all three wins for Dodge City during the weekend had a rough outing in game two when he struck out Aeneas Roberson with two on Friday preserving Dodge City’s 3-2 win.
Sunday Harvey allowed two runs on Alex Neilsen’s single to rightfield with two outs. Nielsen seeing Eric Reid’s throw to home thought he could make it into scoring position, but Dodge City catcher Robert Perea had other ideas in throwing the ball to second and Bergdall laid on the tag for the final out, preventing Jesse Gonzales from taking his final swing on the day.
Post-game Comments GCCC Head Coach Chris Finnegan
The loss dropped Garden City to 23-17, 11-9 in conference as they remain three games behind both Hutchinson and Dodge City heading into their conference bye week.
Garden City play road games this Wednesday at Otero and next Wednesday April 12th at Frank Phillips before returning home to host Hutchinson Friday, April 14th and Saturday, April 15th.