Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The stars were aligned for the Garden City Community College Baseball (24-7, 10-4) team to have a good weekend. Winners in 9 of their first 12 in conference and one game out of first place the pendulum could not have swung more in their favor when Butler (12-15, 2-8) came to town having lost 12 of their last 13 games. That is why they play the game.
Game One Highlights
Garden had to comeback in game two and were able to split the doubleheader thanks to third baseman’s Alex Nielsen’s RBI single of the eighth inning of game two to salvage a split with the Grizzlies. Butler won the first game 3-0, Garden cameback to win game two 3-2.
Just days after outscoring Cloud County 50-15 in their four game sweep at Concordia the offense was shutout for the first time all year and did not score until the 13th inning of the 16 they played combined in the doubleheader. Butler jumped out on Broncbuster starter Noah Draper early.
Butler rightfielder Hunter Aguirre started it out early by being hit from a Draper pitch, reached second on a groundout, third on a steal and scored on another groundout from Bryant Kluesner to make it 1-0 Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies added another run in the fifth on catcher Alex Forge’t’s single, steal of second and wild throw by cather Mason Brown to reach third and was driven in on a Sac-Fly to right by Channing Williams making it 2-0 Butler.
Butler’s final run came on a RBI single from Shortstop Grant Ware putting Butler (12-out in front 3-0 in the sixth. On any other day Draper could have won the game, but without any offensive support his numbers of allowing three runs, two earned on five hits in five and a third innings just wasn’t enough.
Meanwhile the tough lefthander Corbin Osburn silenced the Broncbuster bats over seven innings for their first shutout of the year. Osburn surrendered just five hits in pitching his third complete game of the year. The all-conference pitcher from last year improved his mark to 3-4. Garden City left nine on base including the bases loaded in the fifth.
Game Two Highlights
Butler jumped out to a lead in the fifth inning of game two. Kluesner delivered a two out RBI single to left in the fifth pushing across Josh Rogers with the go ahead run as the Grizzlies too a 1-0 lead.
Garden City answered back with their first run of the day when catcher Mason Brown scored on shortstop’s Grant Ware’s fielding error. Butler jumped back out in front during the seventh when Williams groundout 4-3 allowed Javis Larson to score the go ahead run for the Grizzlies. Then Alex Nielson took over for the Broncbusters.
Nielson scored the tying run in the bottom of the seventh on a wild pitch from reliever Marcus Washburn who took over for starter Isaiah Montoya-Gonzalez. Nielson then had the game winning hit one inning later making it 3-2 Garden City when he singled in Reid Effrien after the Broncbuster shortstop collected the first extra-base hit of the doubleheader for either team when doubled.
Broncbuster closer Ray Monje overcame a couple of walks to battle for his fourth save of the year in the ninth inning.
Both starters threw well in game two, but neither figured in the decision. Isaiah Montoya-Gonzalez for the Grizzlies allowed two runs, one earned and six hits while striking out 10 and walking four. Connor Burns allowed two earned runs and 10 hits while striking out six in getting the no decision for the Broncbusters. Riley O’ Rourke picked up the win for Garden City and Marcus Washburn settled for the loss.
GCCC Coach Chris Finnegan’s Post-game Comments
Both teams resume their series with a doubleheader on Friday. Pre-game begins at 1:45. First pitch at 2 on ESPN 99.9 and westernkansasnews.com.