Garden City, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-Before the 27th annual Clanton Tournament ever began, Garden City coach Lyle Befort expected his team to explode; key word explode-not implode. He’s gotten the former thus far.
Thomas Solorio was solid on the bump, and Garden City mustered enough offense to come away with a 9-4 victory over Goodland Friday night at Lightner Stadium.
“We’ve got to get better,” said Befort who was obviously displeased with Goodland making a late comeback. “We just lost our focus towards the end of the game.”
That focus was in clear view early on after the Elite, who trailed 1-0 after a half inning, tied the game in the bottom of the first when Daven Acker scored a wild pitch. After Marcus Zapata stole second, an errant throw allowed Derek Cook to score the go-ahead run. Isaiah Rodriguez followed with an RBI single giving the Elite a 3-1 lead.
“We had things going early,” Befort said. “We just have to maintain that. I want us to come out firing.”
The lead ballooned in the second when Solorio ripped a run-scoring single that plated Ian Jones. Moments later Acker scored again on a wild pitch, and Garden City led 5-1. Jacob Rivas slid across home plate on another pitch that skipped away before Logan Dechant smoked an RBI double. As Befort, normally perched down the third baseline when his team is up to bat, looked up, his team’s once one-run deficit had been erased with nine unanswered runs.
Meantime Solorio was cruising along on the hill, retiring six out of seven batters as his team took an eight-run lead into the fourth. However; the fourth inning almost was his undoing.
Back-to-back walks and an error loaded the bases for Goodland. After a strikeout, Goodland scored on a passed ball. An error and a hit batsmen plated two more before Solorio induced a ground out to end the game.
“I’m hoping these guys can figure it out before the playoffs,” Befort said. “I know we can.”
Next up: Garden City Elite vs. Hooker, Okla-Saturday, June 28 12 p.m. at Lightner Stadium
Box Score: gcelite_goodland
Columbine, Colo. Elite 9, Ellis Legion 7
Hugoton 10, Butler County Cubs 5
Ellis Legion vs. Dodge City Sr. Rangers
Butler County Cubs vs. Lamar, Colo. Warriors
GC Elite 10, Cimarron 0 (4 innings)
Dodge City Sr. Rangers 10, Colby Sluggers 2
Hooker, Okla. Horny Toads 7, Cimarron 1
Lamar, Colo. Warriors 11, SW Kansas River Rats 1
Goodland Outlaws 10, Hooker, Okla. Horny Toads 5
Elite Legion 6, Dodge City Sr. Rangers 5
Garden City Bombers 14, Minneola 13
Butler County Yankees 8, Widefield Gladiators 0
Butler County Cubs 13, Dodge City Jr. Rangers 2
Liberal Rattlers 7, Ulysses 6
14 and under
Liberal Rattlers 25, Garden City 13s 10
Liberal Rattlers 11, Garden City Storm 3
Hugoton Jokers 16, GC Royals 4
SW Hitters 20, Garden City Storm 1
Garden City 13s vs. Hugoton Jokers