February 1, 2023

Broncbuster Baseball Team Sweeps First Two in Cloud

Concordia, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The hard part of baseball season is that sometimes teams play games they are supposed to easily win and then it either does not happen or they sweat out a close game.  The good news for the Garden City Community College Broncbusters is they did not suffer either fate on Saturday.  

They did have to brave frigid temperatures that settled into the 30’s by the end of the day.  Even the cold weather did not cool off the Broncbuster bats.

Garden City scored early and often, jumping out to early leads of 4-0 in each game to beat Cloud County in Concordia 11-3 and 13-1.

Capitalizing off 25 walks while only giving up three themselves the Broncbusters improved to 5-1 on the road in conference play, 7-3 just two games out of first with their two wins on Saturday. 

Game One Highlights

The bullpen will be well rested coming into Sunday’s game.   Noah Draper went the distance for his second complete game of the season and improving his record to 3-0 giving up three earned runs, six hits and walking just one while striking out 10.  The Thunderbirds Jacob Grady knocked in two runs on a ground-rule double over the rightfield wall.  The other run scored on a fielder’s choice.

Garden City’s Patrick Mixon brought in three runs with a two run double in the first and RBI single in the fourth.  Mason Brown scored three times and had a RBI single in the fifth and Connor Reynolds capped off the scoring with a two-run homer in the sixth off Thunderbird reliever Kasey Biddle to make it 11-3. 

Biddle surrendered 6 runs in his one plus inning.  John Badgett the starter dropped his record to 0-1 working four innings and giving up five runs, four earned while walking seven for the second straight game.

Game Two Highlights

Game two did not go much better for the Thunderbirds.  A passed ball scored the first Broncbuster run. Reynolds picked up where he left off in game one when he homered, with a RBI single in the second and by a run scoring triple in the sixth. 

After Cloud County scored their only run in the third, Mason Brown continue to stretch the Broncbuster lead when he singled in two in the fourth and Kyle Lopez added a RBI single in the fifth making it 8-1 GCCC.  Garden ended the scoring with a three run ninth highlighted by Jake Tyrakoski’s two-run double to rightfield.

Each Thunderbird pitcher in game two gave up at least three runs. Starter John Stiger the left took the worst of it allowing seven runs, five earned in three plus innings with six walks and two strikeouts.   

Garden City’s Connor Burns took care of the rest on the mound.  Pumped up by his great offense he scattered four hits over eight innings, retiring the first eight he faced and setting down the side in order four times during the game.  Noah Foreman walked one in an otherwise spotless ninth.

Garden improved their record to 21-6, 7-3 in conference two games behind undefeated Barton County, while Cloud County falls to 3-20, 1-9 in the Jayhawk West.

Both teams meet for games three and four of the series Sunday at 1pm.  Pre-game begins at 12:45 on ESPN 99.9 and westernkansasnews.com.