September 24, 2022

GC Elite, Dodge City advance to bracket play at Clanton (Updated Scoreboard)


Garden City, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-So much for slow starts. 

Garden City (16-2), who’s been plauged by stagnant offense in early innings, lit up Hooker starter Trent Ottinger in a 16-2 victory Saturday afternoon at Clint Lightner Stadium on day three of the 27th annual Clanton Tourament. 

“It’s great that we scored all these runs,” Head Coach Lyle Befort said afterwards. “The better thing is that we haven’t used all of our top pitching yet.”

That’s scary considering how good Ivan Gutierrez was on Saturday. He allowed just two hits and retired 15 out of the first 17 batters he faced. It didn’t hurt that his offense, specifically Marcus Zapata, had it stuck in automatic. 

Zapata clubbed a team-best four hits in five at bats and knocked in five of his squad’s 16 runs. He got things going in the top of the first when he slapped an RBI single. Later in the inning, Logan Dechant scored on an error making it 2-0 Elite. 

After Hooker scored a run in the second to cut the lead in half, Garden City responded with a three-run third-thanks in large part to Zapata’s two-run single. Isaiah Rodrigue’z sacrifice fly gave the Elite a 5-1 advantage. 

In the fourth, Dechant smoked an 0-1 pitch to the gap in right-center field-scoring Daven Acker from second and extending the lead to 6-1. 

The offense kept hammering away, adding a run in the fifth on Mario Montoya’s sac fly. 

Another Zapata RBI hit in the sixth, followed by an eight-run seventh put the finishing touches on an absolute masterpiece. 

“We’ve got our best pitching coming up,” Befort said. “We’ve been able to get quality pitching without wasting arms. So pitching wise, we’re in pretty good shape.”

As for Gutierrez’s counterpart on the bump, Ottinger allowed 16 runs on 14 hits while walking eight batters in 6 2/3 innings of work. 

Next up: Bracket play semifinals-Garden City vs. Dodge City/Goodland winner-1 p.m. Sunday, June 29

Box Score: gcelite_hooker

Dodge City 3, Columbine 2

Trailing 2-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Dodge City bats finally awoke. The Rangers scratched out three runs to take the lead while the Jackson Oldham held Columbine in the top of the seventh. 

“I’m really proud of how these guys responded late,” Dodge City Head Coach Chris Chilton said. “We beat a darn good baseball team. Our boys really rose to the occasion.” 

The Rangers move on to play Goodland in bracket play Sunday at 11 a.m.

Saturday Scores

19 Division

Goodland Outlaws 11, Cimarron 7

Butler County Cubs 14, SW Kansas River Rats 2

Lamar, Colo. 6, Hugoton 2

Ellis Legion 11, Colby 3

16 and under

Liberal Rattlers 7, Dodge City Jr. Rangers 6

Butler County Cubs 4, Ulysses 3

Butler County Yankees 14, Minneola 2

Ulysses 7, Dodge City Jr. Rangers 3

Garden City Bombers 4, Widefield Gladiators 0

14 and under

SW Hitters 17, Hugoton Jokers 5

NBC

Liberal 5, Derby 2

Dodge City 6, Wellington 0