Busters' baseball stumbles at McCook

4/23/2014

By J. LEVI BURNFIN

By J. LEVI BURNFIN

lburnfin@gctelegram.com

Fresh off a sweep of rival Dodge City, and the all-but-cementing of second place in the KJCCC West, the Broncbusters baseball team may have lost focus in a mid-week single game against non-conference foe McCook, Neb.

It took until the sixth inning before the Busters got their first hit against the host Indians. By then, it was too late. The Indians were already up 4-0 en route to an 8-0 shutout, dropping the Busters to 32-19 overall.

"It was not a great day," head coach Chris Finnegan said in a telephone interview after the game. "It was a mental lapse day."

Josh Thomas got his first start of the season for the Busters, throwing the first three innings, giving up three runs — none earned — striking out three, but taking the loss.

Brad Spires came out of the bullpen in relief, faced three batters and did not record an out. He gave up a single and two walks as the Indians extended their lead to 4-0 through four innings.

They scored one more in the sixth off Tyler Clapper, who finished with four innings pitched, striking out one and giving up just the one run.

Then, the Indians got three straight singles in the eighth off Busters reliever Madison Spencer, and all three came around to score.

Tony Yacovetta was able to get the Busters out of the jam without giving up any more runs, inducing a lineout to first base and a grounder to third to get out of the inning. But the damage was done as the Indians held the commanding 8-0 lead.

The Busters could muster only five hits, two doubles, getting a runner to third base just two times.

"It just wasn't a great day," Finnegan said. "We were kind of on a high, and we just forgot what was in front of us."

Rocky Desantis had both doubles for the Busters, going 2 for 4. Tyler Alitz, Francisco Alvarez and Zach Barton each had singles.

Indians reliever Lincoln Peterson got the win, throwing four innings and striking out four. Darron Davis and Justin Terry led the offense with a pair of RBIs and a two-hit day each. Davis was 2 for 4, and Terry was 2 for 5 with a double.

On Saturday, the Busters completed a four-game sweep of the Dodge City Conqs, their conference finale, giving them a 21-11 record in the Jayhawk West, two games ahead of third place Butler, which has four games remaining in conference play at 17-11.

But Finnegan said the non-conference games remaining are still important heading into the KJCCC tournament on May 3 and 4.

The Busters finish the regular season at home with a four-game set against Longview, Mo., beginning Friday at 6 p.m., followed by one game against Lamar on April 29.

"They'll be focused for this weekend, no question," Finnegan said about the Longview series, which is a three-day set with one game Friday, two on Saturday and one on Sunday. "Sometimes, in mid-week you lose focus, and that's not just us, that's everybody, but that can't happen."

Linescore in Scoreboard, Page B2.

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