Indians shut out Buffs in doubleheader
By NICK McQUEEN
By NICK McQUEEN
Special to The Telegram
HAYS — Wins have been a rarity as of late for the Garden City High School baseball team against Hays High School. Wins are even more rare for the Buffs at Indian Field.
Facing a reeling Hays High team that had suffered three straight losses — despite solid pitching — provided a perfect opportunity Tuesday to snap a long Buffaloes losing streak to the Indians.
That solid pitching, though, proved way too much for Garden City in a pair of shutout losses, 5-0, 7-0.
"They just had great pitching," Buffs coach Bill Wilson said. "Good pitching will out-do good hitting."
Garden City was batting .380 entering Tuesday's contest with a 4-5 mark after three straight losses. But the Buffs ran into a pair of buzzsaws. In Game 1, Garden faced HHS senior ace Layne Downing, a Dodge City Community College signee. Then, the Buffs suffered the second no-hitter of the season for Indian senior left-hander Kade Parker in the nightcap.
"We had to get healthy this week mentally," Indian coach Frank Leo said. "We needed some wins today. It was a tough day against Salina South (a pair of losses), so very pleased with how we came out today.
"Our composure was good and our effort was fantastic."
Downing, who came in with an 0-3 record despite having an earned-run average of 0.66, gave up eight hits to the Buffs in Game 1, but Garden City (4-7) left seven runners stranded — three in scoring position.
Hays High (5-5) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning off Buff sophomore starter Daven Acker on back-to-back RBI singles with one out. Then, the Indians led 4-0 on an RBI fly-out and a two-out RBI single. Acker lasted to the fifth.
"First game we battled pretty good," Wilson said. "When they put up a 3-spot in the second game, we just totally died.
"Pitching-wise, we threw the ball all right. They had a lot of seeing-eye hits," the coach added.
In the nightcap, HHS took a 1-0 lead on an RBI double by sophomore Connor Rule, then the 3-spot came in the second inning against Garden City senior Mario Montoya after a leadoff error. Indian sophomore Cole Schumacher drove in a pair of runs on his single with two outs.
"(Hays) was definitely not a 3-5 team today," Wilson said of the Indians. "Hays has always been that way."
Parker (2-1), who also entered Tuesday's doubleheader with a sub-1.00 ERA, gave Garden City just two baserunners in the nightcap — one a hit-by-a-pitch in the first inning, the other a walk in the second. He then retired 16 straight. He tossed a no-hitter in a doubleheader split with Dodge City two weeks ago.
Hays High was flawless in the doubleheader after numerous errors had cost the Indians in their five losses.
Despite the sweep, Wilson was still not counting out his club, which suffered its third straight defeat.
"We're only going to get better playing good people, and we play good people," he said. "We don't have a patsy on our schedule. Every team we face is a good program."
The Buffs play host to Dodge City in a 4 p.m. doubleheader against WAC foe Dodge City on Friday.
Hays High 5, Garden City 0
Garden City (4-6) 000 000 0 --¬ 0 8 2
Hays High (4-5) 200 201 x — 5 8 0
Acker, Flores (5) and Solorio; Downing and Bieker. W — Downing (1-3). L — Solorio. 2B --¬ Altman, Hays High.
Hays High 7, Garden City 0
Garden City (4-7) 000 000 0 --¬ 0 0 2
Hays High (5-5) 122 100 x — 7 11 0
Montoya, Gutierrez (4) and Acker; Parker and Bieker. W --¬ Parker (2-1). L --¬ Montoya. 2B — Stout, Hays High.