January 29, 2023

Broncbusters Split Final Two at Barton, Remain Tied For First

Great Bend, KS (westernkansasnews.com) In games that had complete reversal of fortune the Garden City Community College Baseball team led most of game one Sunday and lost 11-9 to Barton and trailed most of game two before winning 10-8. The split results set the stage for next weekend’s big showdown with Dodge City.  

The Broncbusters will enter into the series in first place tie for the division lead with Colby, while Dodge nips at their heels.

First game highlights

Garden City took advantage of shaky pitching early in game one scoring five unanswered runs (three in first and two in second) off Barton’s lefthanded starter Cody Brewer.

Connor Reynolds delivered a two-run double in the first to give the Broncbusters a 2-0 lead.  Jesse Gonzales replacing the injured Kyle Lopez added a two run homer his third of the year in a three run second to make it 5-0.

Despite all the early success the Broncbusters did just enough to hold on to the lead, but little else.  Leading 6-1, Barton catcher Mason Hightower drilled his first home of the year to start off the third.  Later on with two outs a rally started when a fielding error behind third base opened the floodgates for three more runs.  The error brought in one run and two more were added when centerfielder Ryan McClure had a RBI triple and Michael Sinks a wind aided double to left center.

C.J. Krainock connected on a two run homer in the fourth making it 9-5 off new Cougar reliever Brant Millerborg, but reliever Dillan Feuerstein gave the runs right back on a wild pitch and throwing error from Mason Brown behind the plate attempting to pick off trail runner Cole Henley at first.

Mason Hiser came on in relief for Barton to pitch the final 3 1/3 innings and get his fourth win of the year (4-3) serving up only three hits, two of them coming in the final inning.  

With the Broncbuster offense grounded,  Barton County had a four run sixth to pull ahead 11-9.  Michael Sinks capped off the scoring to give Barton the lead for good with a two run single off Broncbuster reliever Stephen Pagendarm.  The loss wag tagged on Reilly O’ Rourke who with one out in the inning gave up a walk and back-to-back setting the stage for Barton’s big rally in the sixth.

Game Two Highlights

In game two, Broncbuster starter Brendan Peitsmeyer struggled, but he kept in the contest despite allowing Dayton Pomeroy’s two run homer in the second and Michael Sinks solo shot to center in giving Barton the lead again 6-5.

Garden posted four runs in the third inning on RBI doubles from Aeneas Roberson and Mason Brown along with RBI singles off Jesse Gonzales and Sean Kennedy.   Starter Ryan McClure was making a spot start in the game for the injured Jackson Rose.

Trailing 8-5, Garden came back with three in the eighth to tie it up.  A wild pitch from Barton reliever Taylor Langston brought in one.  Rafael Villela pich hit RBI single and C. J. Krainock’s RBI single tied up the game at 8.

The following inning Barton closer Mason Hiser (4-4) accomplished a rare feat when he won the first game and followed up with a loss in the back end of a double header. Mason Brown saw to it by stroking a homer over the left field wall to give Garden their first lead 10-8.  

Ray Monje pitched both the eighth and ninth to leave with his second win of the year at 2-0.  

GC Coach Chris Finnegan’s post-game comments

Garden City (29-9, 14-6) plays Dodge this weekend at Williams Stadium.   Pre-game coverage of this big four game series begins at 12:45 with the first pitch at 1 on ESPN 99.9 and westernkansasnews.com.