Garden City, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–On the final day of the regular season, the Garden City Bronbusters needed two wins to at least salvage a weekend doubleheader split, to give themselves a chance to host a first round playoff game. After dropping a pair of games on Saturday against the Blue Dragons, the Busters bounced back to pick up the weekend split, taking the first game 10-9 in dramatic fashion and won the finale 12-9 on a cold, windy and drizzly day at Williams Stadium.
Game one saw the Blue Dragons build a lead that looked like would be unable to rally from. Hutchinson scored a run in each of the first and second inning, and a three-run inning pushed their lead to 5-0 after three innings. The Blue Dragons added a run in the fourth to 6-0, and that’s when Garden City woke the bats up. In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Busters sent 13 to the plate, scoring 9 runs on seven hits to take a 9-6 lead. The highlight of the inning came when Kyle Lopez came through with a three-run double for the 8-6 lead at the time. Both teams traded a run in the fifth to make it 10-7 going into the final two innings. Hutch added two in the sixth to cut the deficit to 10-9. The Blue Dragons would load the bases in the seventh, and Garden City got a ground out to survive the first game with a 10-9 win, snapping a five-game losing streak. Brendan Peitzmeyer pitched 2 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on three hits with a strikeout. Tyler Franek went 1 2/3 and picked up the win to go to 2-2 on the year. Ted Ramirez had three of Garden City’s 11 hits in the game, and drove in two runs, as the Busters survived four errors. Noah Draper pitched the seventh inning to pick up his first save of the year. Hutchinson had eight hits and one error, Kyler Lambert took the loss, dropping to 0-1 on the season.
The nine-inning game saw two teams trade punches early on, as the Blue Dragons and Busters were tied at two after two innings. Garden City took a 3-2 lead in the fourth and Hutch tied it at 3 in the top of the fifth. The Busters added runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 5-3 lead. Those two runs would end up being the difference. They sent 11 to the plate in the seventh inning, and opened the game up with six runs on eight hits in the seventh inning to take a 11-3 lead. Hutchinson would bounce back and score two in the eighth and four in the ninth to make things interesting, and leave the tying run at the plate to make the final 12-9. Garden City erupted for 23 hits in game two, as everyone in the lineup had at least one hit each, seven with at least two hits, three with three hits and one had four hits and another with five. Ted Ramirez had a five for six game in the finale with three RBI’s. Frankie Alvarez had four hits and scored three runs in game two. Tony Yacovetta improved to 4-2 on the year, going six innings, allowing three runs on six hits. Hutchinson ended up with 12 hits in the game, as Alex Ruxlow took the loss, and dropped to 6-3 on the year.
Chris Finnegan Postgame
Garden City finished 29-25 overall and 17-15 in conference play, while Hutchinson is 33-19 overall, 17-15 in conference play. Butler lost two games on Sunday to Colby, and they finished 17-15 in the Jayhawk West, as there is a three-way tie for third place. Seward County finished at 21-11, and Dodge City finished at 20-12. The Busters unofficially will be the five seed in the Region 6 Playoffs that begin on Friday, as Hutchinson would be the three seed and Butler the four seed. Unofficially, Garden City will travel to Coffeyville on Friday.