May 26, 2024

Hutch Sweeps Garden in Four Game Weekend Series

Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The Hutchinson Blue Dragons came into the weekend series ranked 11th in the country and riding a big wave of momentum after sweeping Dodge City last weekend.  Although challenged in the weekend series Hutch always seem to have the answer taking Friday’s games 24-14 in nine (scheduled seven) and 9-8 and Saturday winning 4-1 and a run rule shortened 14-4.

The wins give Hutch a three game lead for first in the Jayhawk West over Colby at 34-11, 22-6).  Garden having lost 9 of their last 10 in conference falls 4 games behind Barton and Dodge for fourth (25-21, 11-13).  Only the top four teams get to host a first round series in the region VI tournament three weeks away.

Game One Highlights

On a day where the wind was blowing out at thirty miles per hour to left and against the 4th best home run hitting team in the country, Garden was able to keep up with the high powered Hutch offense.  At the end of the day, the Blue Dragons went deep five times and the Broncbusters five.

Garden City captured their first lead in the bottom of the second when Billy Clark cranked a three run homer off Hutch starting pitcher Nolan Hoffman a signee with Texas A&M.  For Clark it would be his first of three homers in the series and gave the Broncbusters a 3-2 lead.

Hutch would comeback in the third bashing out three straight homers when Brady Hoover, Caden Doga and Wyatt Divis all went deep.  Connor Burns had allowed only two homers all year coming in his last start against Dodge City.  Hutch’s three home run third off him made it 6-3.

Clint Allen answered back with a two run homer in the bottom of the third as Garden pulled to within 6-5. 

Hutch stretch their lead to its largest in the fourth in a three run inning.  Brady Hoover walked against Burns with the bases loaded and Doga added a two run single to left.

Garden leapfroged out to a 12-9 lead in the bottom of the fourth on the strength of back-to-back homers from Ty Lightley and Aeneas Roberson to start the inning.  Allen added his third RBI of the day on a Sac-Fly and Connor Reynolds facing the reliever Dayden Lane stroked a double past the third baseman Doga making it 11-9.  Lightley who started the inning with a solo homer ended the scoring with a RBI single.

The seventh inning was suppose to be the final one played in the first game and Garden City could not finish off the Blue Dragon offense coughing up a 13-10 lead.

Michael Dzjurgot hit two batters and struck out catcher Garrett Stephens and a pinch hit run scoring single from Julian Rip before being relieved.   Danny Weagle served up a single to shortstop Shane Cooper loading the bases and then his wild pitch made it a 13-12 Broncbuster lead.

After Michael Helman was intentionally passed loading up the bases again, Dillian Feurestein brought in the tying run on a wild pitch and then a passed ball gave Hutch the lead 14-13.

Jaden Simmons tried to notch his third save in the bottom of the seventh, but when both Alex Eskridge and Alex Nielsen both reached on a walk and a hit, Jesse Gonzales tied up the game with his single to right.  After Allen was intentionally walked to load the bases, Ty Barclay popped out, Rafael Villela struck out and Ty Lightly lined out to first forcing extra innings.

The ninth inning turned out to be a disaster for the Broncbuster as Hutch finally displayed the power that made them a nationally ranked team.  Nick Ulmer with one on and one out gave up the go ahead double to leftfielder Bobby Morganson as part of a 10 RBI weekend for the Blue Dragon slugger.  Morgensen would later in the inning clubbed a three run homer off Broncbuster reliever Zach Fritton capping off a ten run inning and ending in a 24-14 win for Hutch.

Ulmer took the loss dropping his mark to 0-3, while Simmons improved his record to 5-0.

Game Two Highlights

Morgensen left off where he started in the seventh inning of game one when he launched a solo homer, his ninth of the year giving Hutch a 1-0 lead.  Clint Allen tied it up with a RBI single in the bottom of the first evening the game at one off David Tudhope the reigning Jayhawk Conference pitcher of the week coming off a two hit shutout against Dodge City last week.

Foreman would give up another homer in the second to catcher Scott Wolverton making it 3-1 Hutch, but would then give up that lead right back when Clark homered for the second time on the day.  The three run poke was his second three run homer and it came in the same inning as his first game blast giving Garden another one run lead at 4-3.

Hutch regained the lead in the third.  Foreman served up Morgensen’s RBI double to rightcenter and Weagle in relief gave up a two run double to Wyatt Divis.  Garden tied it up again at 6-6 in the third on RBI base hits from both Ty Lightley and Aeneas Roberson.

Both teams offenses went scoreless over the next two innings until Nolan Hakel knocked in two off Nick Iossi in the sixth giving Hutch a 8-6 lead. 

Lightley led off the bottom of the sixth with a double and then Eskridge cut the Hutch lead to one with a triple to leftcenter.  Nielsen single to center brought Eskridge in tying up the game at 8-8.

Ray Monje pitched one inning of spotless relief in game one, but was not as successful in game two against Hutch.  After Caden Doga led off with a double, Wolverton touched up Monje with a one out triple in giving the Blue Dragons the lead for good 9-8.

Gage Burns who pitched to one batter in the sixth getting Allen to hit into a fielder’s choice with two on and two out in the sixth improved his record to 1-0.  Monje suffered his first loss of the year for the Broncbusters.

GCCC Coach Chris Finnegan Friday Post-game

Game Three Highlights

Saturday the wind was much calmer and so were the bats especially in game one where Garden’s Ryder Yakel (4-3) pitched against Hutch’s Wyatt Divis (3-2). 

Both teams only accumulated five hits.  Divis worked the complete game and allowed only Alex Eskridge’s RBI single in the third which at the time tied up the contest at 1-1.  Divis struck out just three, but did not surrender a walk.

Yakel was on top of his game too.  In the first Hakel homered around the pole in right on a line drive to put Hutch ahead 1-0.  The Blue Dragons would not get another hit until the sixth inning, when they strung together four in a row including three knocking out Yakel from the game.

The most critical of those hits came from Morgensen who doubled in  both Shane Cooper and Michael Helman.  Lefty Mitchell Savine was called in for the third time in the series and served up Hakel’s run scoring triple, but would at least retire the next two to end the damage at three runs. 

Game Four Highlights

In game four Hutch looking for the sweep jumped out to a 6-0 lead through two innings on a two run homer by Brady Hoover and three run blast by Michael Helman. 

Clark’s homer off Grady Kirkhart (3-1) his third of the weekend and sixth of the year made it 6-1 Blue Dragons through three innings. 

Helman and Hoover both finished a triple short of the cycle.  Helman had a two run single, Hakel added his second homer of the day and Doga’s RBI double blew the game wide open as part of a six run fifth to make it 13-1.

Nielsen and Gonzales added an RBI double and single in the fifth off Jordan Luthi and Rafael Villela put up a Sac-Fly.  Hutch however would end the game early on a run rule pushing across their final run in the sixth and ended the contest later 14-4.

Finnegan Post-game Saturday

Garden City is back on the road next weekend against last place Pratt.  Wednesday they travel to Frank Phillips a team they beat last week 21-9 at Williams Stadium.  First pitch is at 3pm.