October 1, 2022

Garden and Butler Split Four Game Weekend Series

Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com) It was a reversal of fortune during Garden City Community College’s Baseball doubleheader Friday with Butler. The Broncbusters lost a four run lead in dropping the first game 8-6, but came back to win the second when they gave up five runs in the first inning 9-8.

The split doubleheader means Garden City won two of the four games with Butler in wrapping up their holiday weekend series.

Game One Highlights

In game one, Butler scored the first run in the second off Broncbuster starting pitcher Tyler Franek when shortstop Tanner Hearon hit a RBI double. Thursday both teams combined for 30 hits, 29 of them were singles. Hearon’s double in the second was the first extra base hit the Grizzlies had in the entire series.

The lead was shortlived for the Grizzlies as Garden struck for two runs in the bottom of the second on a fielding error from second baseman Channing Williams bringing in a run and tying the game at one. Reid Effrien pushed across the other run hitting into a double play.

Butler tied the game at two in the third on third baseman’s Bryant Kluesner’s RBI double. Garden exploded for four runs in the bottom of the third when the Broncbusters took advantage of three bases loaded walks and RBI double from first baseman Kyle Lopez.

Both starting pitchers were not long for the game. Butler’s Travis Edgar allowed five runs, three earned in 2 1/3 innings. Tyler Franek gave up five runs, two earned in 3 1/3 innings.

Garden’s lead shrunk to 6-5 when Butler scored three in the top of the fourth. The door was left wide open for a rally when Broncbuster shortstop Reid Effrein committed a two out error. That was followed with a single and a walk, loading the bases for Kluesner who doubled over the wall in right center. First baseman Corey Slater added an infield single for a RBI to wrap up the scoring.

Over the last four innings Garden City could not muster any offense and that was just enough of an opportunity for Butler to take advantage tying the game at six all with Slater’s RBI single off Riley O’ Rourke in the sixth and pair of RBI singles from Hunter Aguirre and Bryant Kluesner in the seventh.  Aguirre’s single to give Butler the lead was nearly foiled by a great throw from Brooks Benson, Forge’t was able to slide past the tag of Broncbuster catcher Mason Brown.  Kluesner finished as the Grizzlies star of the game going 4-5 with 4 RBIs.

Game Two Highlights

Game two was a bit of a homecoming for Butler starting pitcher Sloan Baker. Baker a standout three sport athlete from Scott City just a hour drive up the road was making a surprise start for the Grizzlies his first as a collegian. Unfortunately it did not turn out as well as he would have liked.

After being staked to a 5-0 lead early, Baker gave up a two run homer in the first to Garden City catcher Mason Brown and three run homer one inning later to rightfielder Brooks Benson. Benson’s blast gave him the Garden City lead in homers and knocked Baker out of the game in front of his former Scott City teammates who made the one hour trip down to support their fromer teammate.

Garden City pitcher Brendan Peitsmeyer was looking to tie the nation’s best mark with his seventh win of the year. At times it looked like he would not go much past the first inning.

Two batters in Butler led one nothing on Channing Williams RBI triple. Kluesner added his fifth RBI of the doubleheader with a single to give his team a 2-0 lead. On the same hit Garden City leftfielder Sean Kennedy booted the ball allowing Kluesner to move on to third and he was singled in by Slater. Three batters later leftfielder Garrett Glass had a Sac-Fly and catcher Alex Forge’t a RBI single to wrap up the scoring.

After that inning, Peitsmeyer gave up only six hits and three runs, two earned in picking up his seventh win and fourth complete game of the year. He gave up the lead on shortstop in the fourth on a RBI single from Aguirre and Williams 1-6-3 double play. A throwing error from Effrein at short in the fifth made it 8-6 Butler.

Effrien atoned for his error with a two run single in the fifth off Grizzlies reliever Hayden Crowe to tie the game at 8 and Mason Brown’s RBI groundout in the sixth plated Aeneas Roberson with the go ahead run in the sixth to wrap up the scoring for the day.

GC Coach Chris Finnegan’s Post-game Comments

After the weekend Garden City’s record stands at 25-8, 11-5 in conference while Butler settles to 13-16, 3-9 in the Jayhawk West. Garden City plays rank Phillips on Wednesday and will battle first place Barton County next weekend in Great Bend.