Broncs baseball stays hot, routs Scott City in afternoon twin bill
By Kevin Thompson
By Kevin Thompson
LAKIN — Two weeks after being run-ruled by a strong Wichita Independent team, the Lakin Broncs have settled into their usual winning ways.
Tuesday they continued that trend, winning their fourth straight game by run-rule with a doubleheader sweep over the Scott City Beavers, 12-2 and 15-5.
The Lakin bats were swinging with 14 hits in the first game, and 15 more in the second, while the Broncs pitchers scattered just 11 hits over the two games.
The Broncs took advantage of five freshman starting in the Beaver lineup in Game 1, breaking open a 3-2 game with four runs in the fourth inning and another four in the fifth.
After an opening out, they hit four straight singles and ended with a Pancho Klassen double to deep left center field, chasing starting pitcher Sloan Baker.
They jumped all over reliever Gustavo Gonzalez in the fifth inning as he gave up three doubles.
Caleb Seeger led the hit parade, going 4 for 5, and Armstrong was 3 for 5.
Scott City scored its only runs in the second inning. Chase Rumford's double to deep center drove in Justin Faurot from first, and Kevin Aguilara drove in Rumford with a single in the next at bat.
The Beavers stranded five base runners in the first game.
But in the second game, they took advantage of some Lakin lapses, putting up a 4-spot in the second inning with just one single. Two errors, three walks and a wild pitch gave the Beavers a 4-0 lead that they held — until the next inning.
That's when the Broncs struck again.
After stranding five runners in the first two innings, the Broncs loaded the bases, chasing starter Keigun Wells. Lakin then scored four runs off Gonzalez.
They put up three more in the fifth, highlighted by Seeger's triple.
A defensive gem played a role in the top of the fifth.
Scott City loaded the bases in the top of the fifth, but Gonzales hit a slow roller to Seeger, who threw to Armstrong at home for the force out, who then threw to Klassen at first for a key double play. A strikeout ended the threat.
That seemed to spark the Broncs as they erupted for seven more runs off two relievers in the bottom of the inning as their first eight batters all reached base.
Seeger went the distance, striking out three.
Ryder Yakel celebrated his birthday with a complete game in the opener, striking out four and walking just two.
"It was a pretty good day," Lakin coach Steve Davidson said, but he was a bit disappointed by his team making a few too many mistakes to allow the Beavers to hang around as long as they did.
Bases loaded in the bottom of the first with nobody out in to start the second game — no runs. The near disaster that was the second inning on defense, allowing four runs.
Despite that, though, Davidson liked how his team responded.
"We make some good plays," he said. "We had three double plays today, which is great. You've got to make those plays. We're doing well; we just have to keep learning."
The Broncs are young and inexperienced, Davidson said, and he can't assume his players all know everything, so each game itself is like a classroom.
"We do things in practice, but it seems like we have to experience it in games and then we learn from that," he said.
He was pleased with his team's hitting overall, especially with the extra-base hits as the Broncs (4-2) hit for nine doubles and the one triple.
Seeger had seven hits and Armstrong five.
Scott City coach Neil Baker knows his team is young, but he, too, sees the Beavers getting better, but he knows where they struggle.
"They're doing a good job. We've played four games and our young guys come in and pitch and get the ball over the plate," he said. "We're not making plays for them."
Missing routine grounders and fly balls — that will get better.
"What I'm really liking is the young guys are putting the ball in play at the plate," he said, alluding to the six total strikeouts for the two games.
"They just don't know how to play the game. They're athletic, but they just don't understand certain things," Baker said. "But they're working hard and they want to learn."
The Beavers (0-4) face Holcomb at 4 p.m. Friday, then play a brutal schedule that includes Hugoton, Colby, Great Bend and Liberal.
"Those are quality ball teams," Baker said. "We hope the kids will keep learning, keep plugging away at it."
Meanwhile, the Broncs will take on Elkhart on the road at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
Scott City 020 000 -- 2 6 3
Lakin 120 441 -- 12 14 2
Baker, Gonzales (4) and Wells. Yakel and Armstrong. W--Yakel. L--Baker. 2B--Scott City, Baker, Rumford; Lakin, Armstrong, Seeger, Klassen, Puckett.
Scott City 040 100 -- 5 6 2
Lakin 004 371 -- 15 15 2
Wells, Gonzalez (3), Braun (5), Faurot (5) and Flower; Seeger and Armstrong. W--Seeger. L--Wells. 2B--Lakin, McAtee, Klassen, Yakel, Reyes. 3B--Lakin, Seeger.