Garden City, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Coming into the weekend series with the Blue Dragons, all Garden City needed to do to secure a first round home playoff game was win two games against Hutchinson. That task is going to be tougher, as the Blue Dragons swept Saturday’s doubleheader, taking a 10-4 win in game one, and rallying for an 8-4 win in 10 innings in the second game.
Hutchinson went to work early on on the Busters. The Blue Dragons scored two runs in the first and second innings to secure a 4-0 lead after an inning and a half. Garden City fought back in the second with one run, and two more in the fourth to cut the deficit to 5-3. That momentum would be halted, as Hutchinson tacked on one run in the fifth, sixth, and produced three runs in the seventh innings. The Busters could only add one more run in the bottom of the seventh for a 10-4 defeat. A bulk of Hutchinson’s runs came with two outs, as they collected 17 hits. Garden City had 12 hits in the game, all singles, and left 11 runners on base. J.J. Benes went 4 1/3 innings in the loss, giving up six runs on nine hits with four strikeouts. Kyle Lopez had three of Garden City’s 12 hits. Max Simpson went all seven innings to get the win, giving up four runs on 12 hits with nine strikeouts. Mack Gowing had three hits and four RBI’s, including a solo home run in the fourth inning.
Garden City got things going in the second game early on, putting together an early 2-0 lead after the first inning. That score would hold on until the fourth inning, when Hutchinson battle back with two runs to tie the game. One of those runs was on a sacrifice fly, and the second on a past ball. The Busters would come back to take a 4-2 lead after the fourth inning, plating two runs, all coming with two outs. Hutchinson tied the game in the top of the fifth inning, on a single following a two-out error that tied the game at four. The game would remain tied until the 10th inning when the Blue Dragons opened things up. After Marcus McKinney hit two of the first three batters he faced in the 10th inning, a Jordan Harris single drove in a run to make it 5-4 Hutch. The Busters would load the bases on an intentional walk. After the walk, Tate Kastens sacrificed in a run and DJ Gasso drove in two more to push the Blue Dragon lead to 8-4. Garden City got one runner on the bases in the ninth but could not generate a threat in the end. Dalton Shalberg gave up four runs, one earned on six hits with six strikeouts in seven innings. McKinney took the loss. Frankie Alvarez collected two of the Busters’ seven hits. Zach Wilson got the win for Hutchinson, pitching the final two innings. Harris had four hits for the Blue Dragons as they finished with nine hits in the game.
Garden City (27-25, 15-15) faces Hutchinson (33-18, 17-13) two more times Sunday, with a seven-inning game at 1, followed by a nine-inning game.
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