Playing second fiddle: GCCC golfers runnerup; baseball wins; softball loses
Playing second fiddle
By ADAM HOLT
There wasn't a big second-day rally to take the lead, but the Garden City Community College golf team was still pleased with its second-place finish at the Oklahoma Panhandle State Invitational.
The Broncbusters finished 13 strokes behind winner Bethany College on Tuesday at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course, and Will Paulsell was second individually. Considering the circumstances — the Busters haven't been able to practice outside much due to weather — it wasn't a bad tournament. Cold temperatures early on and a relatively strong wind from the north made conditions a bit harsh for the second straight day.
"It was pretty cold, pretty windy," GCCC head coach Phil Terpstra said. "But everybody's playing in the same conditions. We didn't probably play as well as we could have. But we really haven't been outside very much, just because of the weather. So it's just nice to be in a competitive round."
Bethany posted a second-round total of 308, for a final score of 613. Garden City shot 311-315-626, with Pittsburg State just a stroke behind after shooting a second-round best 306 to finish at 627.
Paulsell shot 75-77-152 to finish four strokes behind Ben Johnson of Bethany (71-77-148).
"He was hitting the ball a little bit better than he did in the last tournament, and he avoided the double-bogey, triple-bogey kind of thing," Teprstra said of Paulsell. "If you play and can keep those big numbers off the scorecard, you're usually in a better position."
Jose Lelode Larrea of Bethany was third, shooting 72-81-153.
Garden City's Zach Dunlap and Trey Fankhouser finished tied for eighth with 157s. Matthew LeGrange was tied for 16th at 161, but hasn't played much recently because of a cut to his hand that required eight stitches. Camrin Nissen was 20th with a 163.
Boone Wells and Garret Watkins, playing on Garden City's B team, recovered from first-round 88s to shoot 81s in the second round, finishing tied for 27th at 169. Nick Mann was 34th at 175, while Trenton Nevola and Lane Sherer tied for 36th at 178.
Considering the lack of time on the course the Busters have had, Terpstra was happy just to get the team out and golfing.
"The hardest thing this time of year is to putt, because the greens aren't ready," he said. "Yesterday, Zach had 36 putts, which was awful. At this time of year, we're not worried about the putting, we're just more worried about the ball-striking. A lot of guys put themselves in position to score."
Dodge City finished in fourth at 644, Kansas Wesleyan fifth at 653, Northwestern Oklahoma State at sixth with a 664 and Garden City's B team in seventh at 690. Oklahoma Panhandle State did not finish the second round to register a score.
Garden City next competes at Midland (Texas) Monday and Tuesday.
On the women's side, Northwestern Oklahoma State won with a 36-hole total of 735, while Kansas Wesleyan was second at 739. The Coyotes' Kamie Rash, a Syracuse High School graduate, was second individually with a 164. Rash, who played basketball for two years at Pratt Community College, is a junior for KWU. She was The Telegram's 2010 Fall Sports Player of the Year after claiming the Class 3-2-1A state championship. She had been the runner-up in 2009.
The Garden City Community College baseball team picked up an 8-5 non-conference win at Otero Junior College (LaJunta, Colo.) on Tuesday.
"It was something where we just did what we were supposed to do," GCCC head coach Chris Finnegan said in a telephone interview. "We got a great pitching performance and played really good defense."
TJ Clapper pitched into the eighth inning, and the Broncbusters broke the game open with a four-run third to improve to 8-10.
It all started with Clapper, who went 7 2/3 innings, allowing four runs, all earned, on seven hits and four walks, with four strikeouts. He allowed just one of those runs in his first seven innings, before running into some trouble in the eighth, and giving up three runs on a pair of doubles, a triple and two walks.
"TJ did a great job today," Finnegan said. "He commanded three pitches for a strike, working both sides of the plate. Mentally, he was great. He really set the tone for us today."
Nick Ragias led off the third with a walk and reached third on a sacrifice bunt and groundout. Zach Barton bunted for a hit to score Ragias and make it 1-0. Rocky Desantis followed with an RBI double, Kaleb Zimmer walked, and an error on Otero pitcher Branden Phillips allowed Kevin Czarnecki to reach base and Desantis to score.
Phillips walked Jaxon Mohr before being relieved by David Lopez. Phillips allowed four runs, two earned on three hits and four walks. A wild pitch by Lopez scored another run to make it 4-0 Garden City entering the middle of the inning.
GCCC tacked on another two runs in the fourth following a two-out error by Otero, with Desantis hitting a two-run triple. The Busters scored two more in the eighth.
Desantis was 3-for-5 with a run, three RBIs, a double and a triple. Clapper improved to 1-3 and Colton Kibler earned his third save.
Finnegan lauded the team's effort after taking a weekend series from Hutchinson at home.
"We had a big series win, and it's really easy to sit back and stay relaxed with it, and feel good about yourself," he said. "But the guys are over it. They moved on to the next challenge, which was Otero. I thought they handled their business pretty well."
Garden City hosts Lamar (Colo.) today at 4 p.m. at Williams Stadium.
The Garden City softball team dropped a non-conference doubleheader to Western Oklahoma at Altus, Okla., on Tuesday.
Garden City lost 5-0 in the first game, then dropped a 7-3 decision in the finale. The Lady Busters are 6-11 this season and next play at Barton in Great Bend at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday.