Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com) Last year the Garden City High School Baseball team went 29 innings in substate before losing to Wichita West in the sixteen inning final 1-0. On Tuesday fans who did not make the trip to Wichita that day saw at least a piece of the marathon the Buffaloes went through that day.
Determined to turn the page against a rival they have struggled with over the years, Garden City came back from three separate deficits to win 9-8 over Hays in 13 innings and then use a three run seventh to get a last at-bat victory 6-5.
Game One Highlights
In game one, Garden City took an early lead off Ty Wynn with two runs on Raymond Urrutia’s RBI double and Cooper Thayer’s grounder that scored Griff Brunson as he beat a throw that went off line on a potential force out at the plate with the bases loaded.
The lead was short-lived for the Buffaloes as Griff Brunson making his first start of the season after throwing two prior innings in relief, hit three batters including two with the bases loaded and allowed one walk and a base hit.
Hays jumped out to a 6-2 lead with four runs in the third on a two run double to left by Trey Riggs, RBI single by Try Van Pelt and Cody Peterson’s run scoring single off reliever Cooper Thayer.
With score 7-3 Hays in the bottom of the sixth the Buffaloes made their comeback attempt. Hays starting pitcher Ty Wynn left after walking the leadoff batter Aric Rowland. Trey Riggs then threw an arrant pickoff to first advancing Rowland to third. He was then brought in on Cooper Thayer’s RBI single to center.
Following a bunt to put Thayer into scoring position, Andrew Kreutzer delivered a RBI single and made second on a throw to the plate making it 7-5 Hays. With two outs Eric Heiman laced a double to left bringing home Kreutzer and cutting down the Indians lead to 7-6. The comeback would be complete once the Buffaloes batted in the seventh.
Riggs remained on the mound and made his first mistake when he hit Griff Brunson on a 0-2 pitch. The second mistake came one batter later when Urrutia doubled sending Brunson all the way around with the tying run. Rowland’s bunt then advanced Urrutia to third where he was left stranded on Thayer’s line drive to third baseman Will Sennett.
Remarkably with the game tied at seven heading into the eighth inning both team squandered opportunities to end the game even after getting the first two batters on base. Grant Coffman lined out to right with the bases loaded ending Hays threat in the top of the eighth while Heiman hit into an inning ending 6-4-3 double play for Garden City.
Carson Scheeter performed well in relief for the Buffaloes. As part of a game where the Indians left 18 men on base they stranded a runner on second in the ninth, bases loaded in the 10th and had a runner Sennett doubled off on a hit and run flyball to center when Easton Lager threw to David Arteaga and touch the bag ahead of the sliding in Sennett.
Garden failed to score off Riggs in the 9th when trying to capitalize on a fielding error by third baseman Sennett to start the inning, David Arteaga reached third on a sac bunt and fly out before Aric Rowland struck out looking against Riggs.
Scheeter threw 5 2/3 innings of relief and despite walking six (three intentionally) he peppered seven hits and only one run on the mound for the Buffaloes. Riggs was just as effective for Hays (3-3, 0-2) after struggling early in allowing Garden to tie in the seventh coughed up four runs, three earned and 10 hits over seven innings in striking out five and and walking no one.
Both relievers would give up runs in the 12th. First Hays broke the seven all tie when Jace Armstrong was walked and stole second. After Ty Wynn was deliberately put on base, Riggs helped his own cause with a double, but Hays could not move him up as the next three batters failed to hit the ball out of the infield and Hays had to settle for a 8-7 lead heading into the bottom of the 12th.
Garden City (5-5, 2-2) answered back when Brunson reached on an error from the third baseman, Rowland and Thayer both added singles to load up the bases with one out and Lager singled bringing in the tying run and putting Rowland on third. Kreutzer hit a flyball to center for the second out, Cole Murphy then fired home and catcher Dawson Harman took the throw on the first base side came across and blocked Rowland from scoring the winning run, ending the inning and sending the game into the 13th.
Isaac Mujica who came in to get all three outs in relief for the 12th forcing Hays to leave an insurance runner at second went 1-2-3 in the 13th and set the stage for Garden to finally end the game in the bottom half of the inning.
Mujica led off the bottom of the 13th with a walk off the new reliever Sennett who was making his first appearance on the mound this season. Mujica was then caught stealing. After Heiman popped out to second both Arteaga and Brunson singled. Then in the most unusual ending to this marathon game it ended as quickly as it started.
Sennett flinched in trying to step off the pitching rubber. The problem was Sennett’s first move was forward and not back. Garden City Coach Bill Wilson pointed this out along with the Buffaloes first base dugout. The umpires pointed home and allowed Arteaga to score. The game lasted three hours, but at the end Garden City ended their five game losing streak at home and picked up their first conference win.
Game Two Highlights
In game two Eric Heiman struggled on the mound early for Garden City and Hays took advantage getting a two out RBI double in the first inning from Ty Wynn, a bases loaded hit by pitch (one of three from Heiman) in the second and sac fly by Harman giving the Indians a three run lead.
Hays would not score until the sixth inning as Heiman from the third through the fifth inning retired nine in a row including a double play ending the third from Grant Coffman.
Garden would put their first two runs on the board in the third off Hays starter Grant Coffman when Heiman tripled in Kreutzer. Heiman scored when Sennett had a throwing error with two outs to first placing Brunson on base and allowing Heiman to plate the second Garden City run making it a 3-2 game for Hays.
The Buffaloes would tie it up in the fifth when Arteaga’s single to left brought in Kreutzer. Hays would retake the lead one inning later.
Heiman left after walking the first batter of the sixth Ty Wynn. Mujica was summoned back out after he won the first game retiring all six batters he faced. This appearance was not without its hiccups as Wynn stole second and was advanced to third on a wild pitch. Trey Riggs then walked and stole second, but the next two batters popped out and flied out. The depth of the fly ball from Trey Van Pelt was not deep enough to bring in Wynn.
Cole Murphy’s single to right was deep enough as both Wynn and Riggs both scored giving Hays a 5-3 lead.
Hoffman began the seventh inning with Hays still on top 5-3. At the end five straight reached base and three would score giving Garden City another dramatic come from behind win.
Kreutzer and Lager singled and walked to begin the inning. Cole Murphy came in from center to pitch and Heiman singled to left center scoring Kreutzer and advancing Lager to second making it 5-4 Hays. Following a wild pitch that put both runners in scoring position, David Arteaga’s single to right tied up the game at 5-5 as Heiman pulled on the brakes at third base. Griff Brunson took care of business quickly singling to left center and scoring Heiman with the winning run.
Post-game from GCHS Head Coach Bill Wilson
Garden City is back on the road in WAC play Friday when they take on Dodge City weather permitting. Rain and much cooler temperatures are expected and if the games are not played on Friday, it will like be postponed until Saturday.