Hutchinson, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The weekend began with a Connor Reynolds homer and ended with the Broncbuster shortstop homering and in between each team put up big innings as Garden City Community College and Hutchinson split their four game series this weekend from Hobart-Detter Field.
Garden has a solid hold on third place and is three games out for the division lead to Colby. Hutch slips to one game behind first place Colby after they swept this weekend’s four games with Butler.
Hutch has already clinched a home series in the first round of the sub-region, while Garden City can do the same if they finish in the top four of the Jayhawk West standings. The Broncbusters are one game up on Dodge City for fourth and two up on Seward for fifth plus Garden possesses the tiebreaker with each team.
Game One Highlights
In game one Garden City pitcher Noah Draper won his sixth game of the year outdueling Nolan Hoffman of Hutch for seven innings. Reynolds stroke a two-run homer in the second for his seventh homer of the season while Draper struck out a career best 11 batters improving his record to 6-1.
Draper allowed two runs to the Blue Dragons in the fourth on second baseman Michael Helman’s homer and first baseman Brady Hoover’s RBI double.
Reynolds provided some insurance in the seventh with a RBI single scoring Kyle Lopez putting the Broncbuster lead back up to 4-2. The game ended when Hutch third baseman hit into a game ending double play, one of five hit into by the Blue Dragons all weekend.
Game Two Highlights
Game two saw both Garden and Hutch offense struggle until the fifth inning when the Broncbusters added RBI singles from both Brooks Benson and Mason Brown.
Garden City starter Connor Burns was staked to a two run lead, but hit a wall in the bottom of the fifth as Hutch sent 14 to the plate and scored 9 times. Caden Doga blasted his nation’s best 26th homer of the season bringing in three as part of the big inning. Blue Dragon centerfielder Mack Gowing went a perfect 5-for-5 (all singles) with three runs and a RBI.
The Broncbusters added two solo homers, one in the seventh from Brooks Benson and one in the eighth from Kyle Lopez to fall short 11-5.
Sunday’s action saw each team blow late leads as Hutch won the first game 10-8, but lost the second to Garden by the same score.
Game Three Highlights
The real hero of game one Sunday was Doga. He tied the school career mark for homers at Hutch with a sixth inning Grand Slam capping off a seven run rally. Ray Monje picked up his first loss and served up his first homer in what proved to be the eventual game winning homer from Doga. Broncbuster catcher Mason Brown had three RBI’s in the loss.
Game Four Highlights
Garden jumped out early on Hutch starter Michael Helman in the fourth game scoring three times on five hits (four of them doubles) in taking the early lead 3-0 after a half inning.
Helman settled down and only allowed one run over his next four innings and his offense asserted themselves with a solo homer from Gowing off Garden starter Brendan Peitsmeyer and back to back errors from both Reynolds at short and Nielsen at third pushing across two of the three runs in the second.
Down 8-4 beginning the eighth inning, Garden started their rally to tie the game off Blue Dragon reliever Taran Oultan who after retiring six in a row, walked the first three batters to start the inning. Pinch hitter Jake Tyrakowski hit a line drive single off the top of the fence in left against reliever Ben Wusterbarth to plate two making it 8-6 Hutch. Alex Nielsen and Aeneas Roberson came through with one out RBI singles to tie the game at 8-8.
Bob Milacki forced Brooks Benson to hit into a double play with the go ahead runner at third base. It was the first and only double play turned by the Blue Dragons all weekend. It did set up the incredible ninth inning ending for Connor Reynolds who in front of his father and on his 20th birthday hit a smash over the centerfield wall to tie for the team lead in homers with eight.
Dillian Feuerstein took the ball in the bottom of the ninth and induced pinch hitter Jake Bublitz’s game ending 4-6-3 double play to pick up his first collegiate win.
GC Coach Chris Finnegan Post-game Comments on Saturday
GC Coach Chris Finnegan Post-game Comments on Sunday
Garden City stands at 37-13, 18-10 in conference heading into the final weekend of the regular season. Hutchinson falls to 34-15, 22-10. The Broncbusters play one nine inning game on Thursday at McCook then will end the conference schedule this weekend with Saturday and Sunday doubleheaders against Pratt. Pre-game Saturday at Williams Stadium is 2:45 on ESPN 99.9 and westernkansasnews.com.