Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The Garden City High School Baseball Team had high hopes as they began Western Athletic Conference play with a doubleheader on Tuesday against visiting Great Bend. The offense was good at times, but defense and pitching did in the Buffs as they were swept in the two games at Clint Lightner Field 7-4 and 11-8.
Game One Highlights
In the first game, Colton Snodgrass (Loss, 1-3) pitched well for the Buffaloes, but the defense behind him committed six errors including a pair of two error innings during the fourth and fifth where Great Bend scored a combined five runs in the 7-4 win.
Snodgrass gave up a RBI single to Jaxx Hillman and run scoring groundout to Anson Hall making it 2-0 in the third. Garden City jetted out to a short-lived 3-2 lead when third baseman Griffin Brunson drove in two with a triple off Panthers starter Bryce Lytle and was brought in on Lytle’s wild pitch.
A pair of errors in the fourth brought in the tying run when Matt Zecha scored on an error from Buffs shortstop Daven Acker. Unfortunately, the worst was yet to come for Garden City’s defense.
In the fifth, Shade Wondra of Great Bend singled to center. Anson Hall reached on a fielding error from Brunson. Brady Michel singled, but on the play Marcus Zapata threw wildly to third scoring the go ahead run. After Snodgrass intentionally walked Jared Maneth, Snodgrass wild pitch brought in Hall making it 5-3 Panthers and Zecha capped off the scoring with a two run single.
Snodgrass went the distance only allowing two earned run (seven runs total) in his seven innings and gave up seven hits while striking out one and walking two. Payton Mauler won in relief of Bryce Lytle serving up just one hit in 1 2/3 innings pitched. Brett Basye worked the final two innings for Great Bend and only gave up a seventh inning unearned run.
Garden City gained the upper hand in game two with a four run second inning knocking Panthers starting pitcher Anson Hall from the game. Addison DeHerrera singled in the first run and second baseman Eden Arreola added a two run single. Daven Acker capped off the scoring with a RBI single.
The Buffaloes added an unearned run in the third to make it 5-0. Great Bend began their comeback in the fourth scoring two runs when starting pitcher Eric Heiman hit Matt Zacha with a pitch while the bases were loaded and Payton Mauler had a RBI fielder’s choice. All this led up to the inning that changed the game.
With Garden City up 6-2 in the fifth, Great Bend scored six times as part of a string that saw the Panthers score nine answered. Jaxx Hillman double to right and was singled to third by Wondra. Marcus Zapata’s wild throw home bounced towards the third base dugout scoring Hillman and Griffin Brunson’s throw to first was off line bringing in Wondra all on the same play.
Hall’s double knocked out reliever Eden Arreola. Daven Acker pitched well at Wichita North, but struggled Tuesday. Jared Maneth reached on an error from third baseman Brunson. The defensive mistake brought in Hall tying the game 6-6. Following back to back walks, two of seven from Acker in his one inning, Mauler popped and Bryce Lytle doubled in two.
Great Bend added three more in the sixth on Brady Michel’s RBI double off Acker and a bases loaded walk to Jack Westholf. Neither Garden City or Great Bend performed well defensively. The Panthers had seven errors in game two and the Buffaloes three, but all three errors from Garden City came in the six run fifth inning giving Great Bend the lead for good.
Garden City Coach Bill Wilson Post-game
Great Bend improves to 3-5 overall and 2-2 in the WAC while Garden City falls to 4-6 overall and 0-2 in the WAC. The Buffaloes have Senior Day next Tuesday when they host Hays at Clint Lightner Field. The Panthers will play Scott City the same day.