Garden City, KS-2007 is a long time ago.
But consider that the Buffaloes had not swept a season-opening series since then, and you can understand their celebration following Thursday’s games.
Cooper Thayer collected five hits while dominating on the mound-tossing a complete-game shutout in the finale as the Buffaloes took two from Hays TMP 6-4 and 4-0 at Clint Lightner Field.
In the opener, Garden City (2-0, 0-0) maneuvered their way from behind. The Monarchs plated a run in the first on an error. The Buffaloes bounced back an inning later when Thayer laced an RBI single to center to tie it. Then in the fourth, Rawley Davison stole home to put the home squad up 2-1.
Unfortunately, the euphoria did not last long.
TMP stormed back to tie the game in the fifth before taking the lead on Carson Jacob’s two-run double that made it 4-2.
But Garden City slowly chipped away. In the home half, Davidson tripled down the right-field line to slice the deficit to one. In the sixth, Thayer singled home a run followed by Koby Acker’s two-run base hit that put the Buffaloes up 6-4.
Arreola then slammed the door on the Monarchs in the seventh, inducing two pop outs and getting Easton Brown to strike out swinging to end the game.
Arreola picked up the win, allowing four runs on eight hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked two. Thayer was 3-for-4 with two RBI, and the Buffaloes swiped seven bags.
Jacobs was the losing pitcher for TMP Hays, giving up six runs on 10 hits. He threw 115 pitches.
Garden City left no doubt in game two.
Auston Waetzig got the scoring started in the bottom of the first with an RBI double. Davison added a run-scoring double in the second, and Waetzig and Arreola drove in runs in the fifth to make it 4-0.
Meantime, Thayer was dealing. He didn’t allow a hit until Jacobs singled in the third. In the fourth, he worked around a leadoff base hit, getting Mason Robins to bounce into a double play. Then to close the deal, he retired six out of the final seven batters he faced.
Thayer struck out four in seven innings while walking three. He finished 2-for-2 at the plate, and Waetzig was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
The losing pitcher was Colby Dreiling, who surrendered four runs on nine hits in six innings. He walked five.
Next up: Garden City vs. Holcomb-Friday, March 29-2:45 p.m. pregame; 3 p.m. first pitch on 99.9 FM; wesaternkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app