Buffs pick up first win of '13 in split with TMP
By BRETT MARSHALL
The Garden City High School Buffaloes, as well as the visiting TMP-Marian Monarchs, left Clint Lightner Stadium late Thursday night with their first victories of the 2013 season.
But that was about the only similar thing in the doubleheader, with the Buffs posting a 4-1 win in the opener while the Monarchs won a wild-and-wooly nightcap, 8-7, in a game that went 10 innings before it was settled.
GCHS coach Bill Wilson was happy to get the first victory of the season (the Buffs are now 1-5), while leaving the late game disappointed that on more than one occasion, his team either let the win slip away with shoddy fielding, or had runners left on base in scoring position when final outs were made.
"We had a lot of opportunities, and had way too many flyouts," Wilson said of the nightcap loss, in which the Buffs banged out 12 hits for their best offensive output of the season, but committed five errors and left 10 runners on base. "We had our chances. But they (TMP) hit some line drives, and I thought our outfield ran some balls down to keep us in the game, too."
The Buffs rode the arm of senior right-handed pitcher Edgar Montoya to win their first game of the season in the afternoon game.
Montoya and TMP's Shane Zimmerman were locked in a scoreless duel into the fifth inning before the Buffs scored a pair of runs without the aid of a hit in each of the fifth and sixth innings to offset one run by the Monarchs in the top of the seventh. Montoya was tough on the mound, finishing with six strikeouts while issuing three walks. He finished with 114 pitches.
"Gosh, Edgar was just so tough out there," Wilson said of his senior hurler. "He did a good job of keeping the hitters off balance and I thought he had excellent command of his pitches. He's a real battler out there."
TMP helped the Buffs' cause in the fifth and sixth frames, as the Monarch pitchers issued six walks and hit a batter to provide Garden with the winning runs.
"Well, it was one of those where you'll take it any way you can get it," Wilson said. "It's a big confidence boost for us."
Defensively, the Buffs were rock solid in the opener, going without an error for the first time all season, while managing just four hits off Zimmerman and relievers Liam Stults and Braiden Werth. Thomas Solorio and Montoya had two hits as the only Buffs to get hits.
Four walks, a throwing error and a passed ball brought two runs home in the fifth while three walks and two hit batters aided in the two runs in the sixth frame.
The nightcap was nothing like the first game.
Garden scored twice in the second, and TMP responded with a single run in the fourth. The Monarchs scored three runs in the fifth off starter Logan Dechant, taking a 4-2 lead.
The Buffs responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth as Andy Saldivar and David Acker had run-scoring singles.
Once again, TMP went ahead with a single tally in the sixth, only to have the Buffs rally one more time with a run in the bottom half of the inning. Montoya doubled and came home on a groundout by Frank Rosas. Both teams failed to score in the seventh to send it to extra innings.
It wasn't until the ninth, though, that the scoring picked back up. The Monarchs got two runs in their half of the ninth, yet the Buffs didn't fold. With the aid of just one hit, and one TMP error, the Buffs tallied twice to tie the game at 7-all. Two walks, a fielding error by TMP and a run-scoring single by Thomas Solorio knotted the score.
But a batting order error by the Buffs may have cost them a chance to win the game then, as Todd Savolt came to the plate when Montoya was scheduled. Savolt walked, but it was then discovered and the umpires ruled a third out to send the game to the 10th.
"That one was on me," Wilson said of the lineup miscue. "I was trying to do the player re-entry again to give us a chance to have the best batter up, but I just got it messed up."
TMP scored what proved to be the winning run on a Jordan Gottschalk double and two throwing errors by the Buffs in the Monarchs half of the 10th.
Garden tried one more time to tie it or win it in the bottom of the 10th, loading the bases with two outs on consecutive walks and a hit batsman. But Kameron Schmidt, who picked up the win, got pinch-hitter Desmond Smith to strikeout swinging to end the game.
The Buffs get little rest as they were on the road today for a 4 p.m. doubleheader at Wichita North.
TMP-Marian 000 000 1 -- 1 6 1
Garden City 000 022 x -- 4 4 0
WP--E. Montoya (1-2), LP--Stults (0-2). 2B--TMP (Zimmerman). LOB--TMP 8, Garden City 10.
TMP-Marian 000 131 002 1 -- 8 14 6
Garden City 020 021 002 0 -- 7 12 5
WP--Schmidt (1-1), LP--Saldivar (0-1). 2B--TMP (Gottschalk), Garden City (Acker, Solorio, Montoya). LOB--TMP 15, Garden City 10.