Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com) Talk about a logjam. Garden City finished with a weekend split of a four game series with Barton Community College and enter the final three weeks of the regular season there is a four way tie atop the Jayhawk West. Dodge City, Butler and Hutchinson all have 12-8 conference records.
Garden City is 14-10 and have played four more conference games because GCCC has not had their conference bye. Barton is only two games out at 10-10. The Broncbusters will get their bye in two weeks when they visit Longview (MO).
Game One Highlights
Game one on Friday Garden City scored seven runs all with two outs in the sixth to run rule Barton 12-2. Both starting pitchers threw well. JJ Benes recovered from his rough start last weekend at Butler to go six innings and allow just two runs and eight hits in a complete game win. His offense helped him out by staking Benes to a 5-0 lead.
Alex Evans (L 1-4) received the ball for Barton CC and gave up three runs in the second on Brooks Benson RBI double and a two run single from Brennan Cascio. Garden added another two in the third, on a pair of RBI singles from Easton Palmer and Benson.
The Cougars scored their only two runs in the fifth on a RBI single from first baseman Garrett Watkins and Casco’s error which brought in Evan McDonald. Garden City ended the game in the sixth off Cougars reliever Mitch Malherbe.
After the first two batters struck out, eight consecutive batters reached scoring seven runs to end the game early on a run rule 12-2. Evans allowed three straight singles before he was taken out for Malherbe. Ted Ramirez, Kyle Lopez and Mason Brown all had RBI singles. Cooper Bowermaster reached on the shortstop’s error which brought in Brown and a pair of wild pitches ended the game. Garden City showed their ability to keep innings alive scoring 11 of their 12 runs with two men out.
Game Two Highlights
The Broncbusters were not so lucky in the second game. Cougars lefty Jordan Plank (W 6-2) served up a RBI triple to Mason Brown in the first and RBI groundout to Ted Ramirez in the fifth. Garden would also accumulate four hits over the fifth and sixth, but score only once. Dalton Shalberg (L 2-4) held Barton’s offense in check until the seventh.
Trailing 2-1, two of the first three men reached for Barton, Dayton Pomeroy had a double and Lance White was hit by a pitch. The next batter, Seth Troll tied up the game with a RBI single to center. Trevor Turner flied out to right, but on the throw Brooke Benson tried to gun down Barton third baseman Lance White attempting to tag up and move to third. A wild throw escaped Garden City’s Ted Ramirez and the error brought White home with the go ahead run.
Troll put up another RBI single in the eighth inning off Phillip Muldrow resulting in a unearned run. An error from first baseman Bowermaster scored the other run of the inning and before the dust had settled it was 6-2. Broncbuster catcher Frankie Alvarez yanked a RBI double in the ninth inning, but the next two batters failed to reached against righthanded reliever Jackson Rose who earned his first save as Barton split Saturday’s doubleheader with a 6-3 win in game two.
Coach Finnegan Post-game Friday
Game Three Highlights
While the wind was blowing in on Friday, it was blowing out to left on Saturday. Both teams could not capitalize as only Frankie Alvarez of Garden City and Dayton Pomeroy of Barton went deep. Garden City did flex their muscle early to knock Barton starting pitcher Jayme Lovelace out of the first game and cruised to a 10-4 win.
It took only two batters into the bottom of the first for Garden City to score their first run. Frankie Alvarez and Ted Ramirez had back-to-back doubles in getting the Broncbusters out to an early 1-0 lead. The Broncbusters followed with a six run second inning sending 11 batters to the plate.
After a walk and a hit batter, Patrick Mixon flied out to right. Brennan Cascio singled to right bringing in Easton Palmer. Following a wild pitch which advanced Brooks Benson to third. Alvrez groundout accounted for the second run. Ramirez walked and with runners at first and third Garden City executed a double steal as Cascio took home. Later on in the inning, Mason Brown drove in a run with a single and Bowermaster knocked Lovelace (L 0-4) out of the game with a two-run double making it 7-0.
In the third, Alvarez went deep for his sixth homer of the year to tie Brooks Benson for the team lead. Ted Ramirez doubled and Sean Kennedy produced a run scoring single. Both runs were charged to Xavier Sundman in relief.
Garden City only had one run the rest of the game, but it held up. Brendan Peitsmeyer (W 4-2) worked six innings and allowed just four earned runs and eight hits on a walk and matched his career high with eight strikeouts. Cougars shortstop Dylan Kuhn had a two run single and in the seventh Tyler Jennings stroked a RBI double to left, later scoring on a pass ball.
Game Four Highlights
The finale had Tony Yacovetta (L 2-2) go to the mound for Garden City. He had done well at Butler in picking up his second win going seven shutout innings. Saturday it was a different story and Barton took game four 14-9.
For the ninth consecutive game, Garden City scored the first run when Alvarez scored on Kennedy’s groundout in the first. Typically scoring the first run of the game is a good sign, but in those nine games Garden City is 3-6. Unfortunately, Garden City could not hold Barton’s offense down in the second inning as the Cougars were able to gain an early advantage and keep it.
It began with a one out walk to Trevor Hughes. Trevor Turner had a single and leftfielder Jacob Richardson a RBI double. On the next play Cascio at short had a fielding error that allowed two runs to score. Evan McDonald singled and with two outs Grant Watkins reached on second baseman Easton Palmer’s error. With five runs already in, Dayton Pomeroy cranked his second homer of the season by the scoreboard in left to make it 7-1 Cougars.
Garden City carved into the six run lead with two off lefty Cody Brewer in the bottom of the second. Patrick Mixon tripled in a run and Brennan Cascio brought in Mixon with a Sac-Fly. For Cascio it was his third RBI of the series.
Yacovetta gave up one more run in the third on Jacob Richardson’s RBI double his second of the game and a two run double by Trevor Hughes.
The Broncbusters just would not let go. With the score 14-4 the Broncbusters were on the verge of being run ruled when Frankie Alvarez doubled for his second extra base hit of the game. Ted Ramirez followed with a RBI triple and Kennedy added another RBI groundout. Barton starting pitcher Cody Brewer (w 3-4) went 6 1/3 innings and gave up six earned runs and seven hits.
Garden down 14-6 in the ninth capitalized on three walks from Cougar reliever Shane Adams. He ended his short 1/3 inning stint when Angelo Perez singled in two for the Broncbusters. Jackson Rose closed the door on any potential hope for a Broncbuster comeback retiring back to back batters to end the game.
Coach Finnegan Post-Game Saturday
The Broncbusters(24-16, 14-10) failed to win a conference series at home for the first time in their last five when midway through last season Garden City lost three out of four to Colby.
For Garden City they have a big week ahead. Wednesday the Broncbusters visit Lamar a team that beat GCCC 18-4 last Wednesday at Williams Stadium. Next Saturday Garden goes to Dodge City to begin a four game series, one of the three teams battling GCCC for first place.