Published 3/23/2013 in Sports
By ADAM HOLT
After a pretty sterling 6-2 start to conference play, the Garden City Community College baseball team finally ran into trouble against Seward County.
The Broncbusters dropped the first two games of the series, 3-2 and 13-5, at Williams Stadium on Friday.
Mistakes, in the field and on the bases, cost Garden City in the opener, spoiling a strong pitching effort by Bradley Spires. And the Busters just didn't show up in the second game, which got out of hand late.
"It's always disappointing when you get swept at home," GCCC head coach Chris Finnegan said. "I think the thing that I'm more disappointed in is, we had opportunities in Game 1. The two things we take a lot of pride in, Game 1, playing the game of catch and base-running. We beat ourselves. If we don't make the mistakes we make, we have an opportunity to win."
Garden City committed three errors in Game 1, two of which helped Seward County score runs. In the third, a throwing error by Spires on a pickoff allowed Johnny Griffith to go from first to third, and he scored on Bryson Allen's single. In the sixth, another throwing error by Spires let Allen on base, and he scored on Mason Marshall's single to give the Saints a 2-0 lead.
GCCC pulled within 2-1 in the sixth on a sacrifice fly, but Griffith drove in the eventual winning run with a single in the top of the seventh. Garden City got an RBI single from Zach Barton to make it 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, but Alex Buechler struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.
Bad baserunning in the sixth squashed a potential rally for Garden City. Barton led off with a single, and Buechler followed with a fly ball off the wall in right field. Finnegan held Barton at second, because the ball bounced straight back to the right fielder, but Buechler kept running and ended up stuck in between bases before being tagged out. Barton went to third on the throw and scored on Rocky Desantis' sacrifice fly, but that left the bases empty with two outs.
"We just got a little bit ahead of ourselves," Finnegan said. "Beek plays hard, we play hard, and his first thought was, we're going first to third, because that's who we are. Realistically, if the ball doesn't carom right back to the outfielder, we are at second and third right there."
Spires pitched all seven innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on seven hits and four strikeouts to drop to 3-1. Tyler Wiedenfeld went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk, with three strikeouts. Griffith came in for the final out to earn a save.
In Game 2, the Busters couldn't solve left-hander Austin King in time, and allowed 10 runs in the final five innings.
At the middle of the eighth, Seward had a 12-1 lead, and was out-hitting Garden City 18-2. The Busters got a solo homer from Kaleb Zimmer and a bases-clearing double from Kevin Czarnecki in the eighth to chase King from the game.
But GCCC went 1-for-4 with a sacrifice fly in at-bats with the bases loaded, getting just one run in the second with the bases loaded and no outs.
SCCC got three runs on five hits off Jake Eikleberry to start Game 2, and broke through again in the fifth, turning a 3-1 game into a 5-1 game, then added two more in the sixth and five in the eighth. All that, and just five of the Saints' 23 hits went for extra bases.
Finnegan credited King, who went 7 1/3 innings and allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits and two walks with seven strikeouts, for keeping Garden City off balance. At the same time, the Busters didn't do enough.
"We were right there in the game, and we just kinda sat back," he said. "We didn't have a very good approach."
Eikleberry (4-2) lasted 4 1/3 innings, giving up five runs, all earned on 11 hits and two walks, striking out three. Garrett Bryant (two runs in 1 2/6 innings), Josh Thomas (three runs in 1 1/3), Oscar Gamboa (two runs in 2/3) and Chris Bonk (one run in 2/3) struggled against a locked-in Saints lineup.
Garden City dropped to 6-4 in Jayhawk West play and 12-15 overall, while Seward now shares first in the division with Colby at 9-5. Dodge City (10-6) is in second.
Garden City was scheduled to resume play today at 1 p.m. for a doubleheader, but that is contingent on the weather being acceptable. If not today, the Busters will try to finish the series Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.
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