June 20, 2024

Garden City Baseball falls in 6A Regional Tournament

MAIZE, KS (westernkasnasnews.com)-Garden City High School lost 4-3 to Manhattan High School in the first round of the Regional 4 6A Baseball Tournament yesterday despite late-game defensive heroics.

The Buffaloes put themselves in a prime position to score in the top of the second inning thanks to a well-placed bunt along the third base line by Chase McGraw that filled the bases for designated hitter Johnny Almanza. A sacrifice fly from Almanza drove home Javan Farr to tie the game at 1-1. Two batters later, Brayson Plankenhorn would smack a single into right field resulting in a score from Evan Finch and a 2-1 Buffs lead.

The bottom of the second saw three runs for Manhattan from a 2-run triple and a wild pitch from Evan Finch which resulted in the third base runner getting home.

The top of the third showed promise for Garden City as a base hit from Evan Finch resulted in a score from Culden Plankenhorn, but the initial offensive firepower for both teams ran dry as neither would score for the rest of the game.

An odd turn of events in the bottom of the sixth saw a run taken off the board for Manhattan after an interference call was made by the umpires which resulted from an extensive pause of the game and a conversation between the umpires, both coaching staffs, and the official scorekeeper for the matchup.

The top of the seventh saw opportunity for the Buffs as Brayson Plankenhorn delivered a base hit, allowing Ethan Leisure to substitute in for the pitcher at first base. Despite successfully stealing second, Leisure would be left stranded as the final at bats saw a flyout and a putout with Culden Plankenhorn being the final out of the season for the 7-12 (0-8) Garden City club.

Pitching was a struggle for Garden in the onset as Evan Finch walked four different Manhattan batters after hitting them with errant pitches. The Buffalo coaching staff then called on Brayson Plankenhorn to come in in relief midway through the game. Plankenhorn shone, as did the Buffs’ defense, as they proceeded to blank Manhattan for the rest of the contest. Notably, the leftie Plankenhorn had two throw-outs, successfully avoiding balks on the mound, catching Manhattan runners on first base by surprise on both occasions. 

Head Coach Anthony Ortiz reflected on the ending of the game and missing on the opportunity to get Leisure home, as well as the season in his postgame interview:



Garden City finished their season 7-12 and 0-8 in WAC play.