Clarendon, TX (westernkansasnews.com)-Blowing leads is not something that Garden City Coach Chris Finnegan is used to. But over the last week, he’s watched his team squander their fair share.
And it happened it again Wednesday in Clarendon, when the Busters blew a 10-9 ninth-inning advantage-losing 11-10 on a bases-loaded walk.
“I’m really proud of the guys for fighting back again,” Finnegan said. “But we’ve got to go back to the drawing board now.”
That might not have been the case if Garden City (13-13, 6-6) could have found a way to hold on to an early lead. The Busters plated four runs in the first on RBI hits from Kaleb Zimmer, Jaxon Mohr and Rocky Desantis. They also took advantage of throwing error by Devin Perez that allowed Kadin Hydrick to score.
But the Bulldogs (11-12, 4-8) answered back, scoring a run in the first, two in the second, one in the third and two in the fifth to take a 6-4 advantage.
The Busters tied the game in the sixth with Zach Barton’s sacrifice fly and Cale Dineen’s RBI single; only to see Clarendon plate three runs in the bottom half to take a 9-6 lead.
In the eighth, Garden City fought back again. With one out, Bulldogs hurler Bryan Epstein plunked Barton and Rocky Desantis. Then after Hayden Bach replaced Eptsein out of the pen, Dineen ripped a two-out, run-scoring single followed by Frankie Alvarez’s, bases-clearing triple that gave the Busters a 10-9 lead.
After Ryan Backus grounded out and Perez struck out for the first two outs in the bottom of the ninth, it appeared Garden City would escape the Lone-Star state with a come-from-behind victory. But Marcus McKinney issued back-to-back walks and hit a batter to load the bases. Dalton Shalberg came in and fared no better, allowing back-to-back, bases loaded free passes to give the Mustangs a one-run victory.
“We’re going to change some things around,” Finnegan said. “Some guys are not going to get that many innings, but they’ve had their chance. We’ll turn it around.”
Next up: Garden City vs. Colby-Saturday, March 22-12:45 p.m. dugout show ONLINE ONLY at westernkansasnews.com/gccc-sports-streaming/