Garden City Buffaloes
Baseball wins; tennis blanked at state meet
By BRETT MARSHALL
Taking advantage of a late game added to their schedule, the Buffaloes' baseball team concluded its regular season slate on Friday with a 5-4 victory over Wichita Southeast in a game played at Derby.
The victory enabled the Buffs to finish the regular schedule with an 8-12 record, and they now await the final seedings and pairings for the Class 6A regional tournament, which will begin either Tuesday or Wednesday. The Buffs were likely to be assigned the No. 7 seed, and the victory prevented them from dropping into a three-way tie with Junction City/St. Xavier and Wichita North, which would have resulted in a coin toss to determine those seedings.
Friday's win was not without its dramatics, as the Buffs scored four runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to break out of a scoreless battle with the Golden Buffaloes, only to see Southeast rally for four runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it close.
"We survived, yeah, that's about the way you'd want to describe it," said head coach Bill Wilson in a telephone interview. "We made it very interesting. We needed the win to avoid the tie, so it's a good way to finish the regular schedule."
Mitchell Hernandez had two hits and an RBI for the Buffs, while Thomas Solorio contributed a hit and drove in a pair of runs. Mario Montoya also drove in two runs with a hit.
Daniel Flores picked up the victory as he went the distance, giving up four earned runs, walked three and struck out three.
In their sixth, the Buffs got a leadoff single from Eden Arreola, followed by a single by Hernandez. Arreola advanced to third on a throwing error and Hernandez ended up on second. Solorio's single scored the two. Montoya's single scored Rivas, who was a courtesy runner for Solorio, and Marcus Zapata, who had walked.
The seventh saw the Buffs get a leadoff single from Michael Calderon. He eventually ended on third after a stolen base and a throwing error by Southeast's catcher. Hernandez then delivered an RBI single to center.
Southeast, though, finally reached Flores, who had thrown six shutout innings.
The Golden Buffs produced five singles and a walk to score three runs, and added a fourth on a double, leaving the game-tying runner on third with two outs.
Shortstop Daven Acker fielded a ground ball, threw to first, and Montoya had to dig it out of the dirt to get the third out and preserve the victory.
"We don't do things easily," Wilson said.
Garden City 000 005 1 -- 5 8 1
Wichita SE 000 000 4 -- 4 8 2
Flores and Solorio; Sutton, Bluma (4). WP--Flores; LP--Bluma.
It was an early exit for the Garden City High School boys tennis team at the Class 6A state tournament on Friday at Wichita's Riverside Park Tennis Complex.
Singles players Dozie Ekweariri and Sebastian Kyaw, as well as the doubles team of Dylan Victor and Esteban Neave, came home without a win in either of the respective two matches played.
Ekweariri, who had finished third the week before at the regional tournament in Hutchinson, lost 6-0, 6-0 in his opening match to Max Kurzban of Shawnee Mission West, and then was ousted from the tournament with a 9-2 setback against Matt Murray. Kyaw, the fifth-place regional placer, lost 6-0, 6-0, in his first-round match to James Lowe of Blue Valley Northwest, before dropping a 9-0 match to Rohit Bhagat of Blue Valley North.
Perhaps the best play of the day came early from Victor and Neave, where they battled Jake Byrd and Avery Don of Olathe East, before falling 6-2, 7-5, in an opening-round match. After a rain delay, and five hours later, the doubles team came out only to come up short by a 9-2 count against Charlie Russell and Nate Sterns of Shawnee Mission West.
"All in all, just a tough day of matches," GCHS head coach Rod Robinson said. "The boys played hard, at times they played good, but when you're at state, you're seeing the best players. I thought Dylan and Esteban played especially well in their first match, and had the score tied at 5-5 with chances to win, but just couldn't get that critical point to win. I think the delay really hurt them because they weren't quite as sharp in their second match."
Ekweariri, a senior, finishes his final season with a 24-6 record, while Kyaw, a junior, concluded with a 19-15 mark. Juniors Victor and Neave ended the season with a 12-11 record.
The Lady Buffs soccer team earned the No. 6 seed amongst 12 teams in the Class 6A South Central Region and will play host at 5 p.m. Monday to rival Dodge City, the No. 11 seed.
The game will be played at Buffalo Stadium.
Garden City enters the game with a 10-6 record, while Dodge City is 7-9. The teams split their regular season matchups, each winning at home. The Lady Buffs lost 2-1 at Dodge City and then won 1-0 at home Monday. A victory by the Lady Buffs would put them into the regional championship game, likely to be played on Wednesday at a site yet to be determined.
The Lady Buffs softball team will host a Class 6A regional Wednesday at the Tangeman Sports Complex.
The four-team single-elimination tournament will determine one of eight teams to qualify for the Class 6A state tournament, which will be played May 29-30 in Overland Park.
In the 2 p.m., opener, Hutchinson will face Haysville-Campus, while the Lady Buffs and Wichita East will tangle in the 3:45 p.m. semifinal. The championship game will start at approximately 5:30 p.m.
Garden City enters postseason play with a 12-7 record, and earned the No. 3 overall seed in the Campus regional bracket. Wichita East finished the season 4-16. Hutchinson is 12-8, and Campus was 7-11 as of games played Wednesday.
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