Churning through the cold and rain, the Garden City Broncbusters baseball team finished off a sweep of Western Nebraska on Monday.
Though Monday was scheduled to be a doubleheader at Williams Stadium, the teams decided to play one nine-inning game, which the Busters easily won, 9-2, after 4-2 and 9-3 wins on Sunday. To accommodate the change, GCCC head coach Chris Finnegan gave the start to usual No. 3 starter Jacob Douglas, but usual No. 4 starter Ryder Yakel was the first guy out of the bullpen.
“Both of them handled it very well,” Finnegan said. “I told Ryder, ‘Hey, it’s Jacob’s game … Any day you can have something like 13 punch outs and one walk, you’ll take it.”
The duo combined to strike out 13 and walk just one, giving up seven hits and one unearned run in nine innings. Douglas picked up the win, his first of the season as he moved to 1-1 with a 1.13 ERA across eight innings of work. He threw five innings, striking out six and walking one Monday.
His only trouble came in the fourth, when he gave up a pair of singles, walked one and an error brought in a pair.
The Busters never gave up an early led they established on back-to-back RBI doubles in the first from Corbin Truslow and Darian Burns. Truslow finished the game with three RBIs and two hits, while Ty Lightley had three RBIs and a double out of his No. 9 slot in the lineup.
The Busters also got three stolen bases, and Finnegan said they ran the bases a bit better than they did last weekend — a four-game split with Trinidad State, Colo.
“I thought we put more guys in motion this weekend, which we want to do,” Finnegan said. “I thought our bullpen was much better.”
The bullpen usuals’ only work of the weekend came in the Sunday nightcap, when Scott Waterman, Jacob Garza and Nick Iossi combined for four scoreless innings, after starter Eric Heiman was knocked out after three innings.
“He grinded three innings for us,” Finnegan said of his freshman out of Garden City High School. “He was bad, and he knew it. He didn’t have command of any of his pitches, but he grinded out three innings.”
Yakel’s appearance on Monday is only a temporary move to relief work; yet, he tossed four innings and struck out seven batters and walked none. He gave up just three hits and one unearned run in the seventh.
The Busters have played the most games of any other program in the Jayhawk Conference so far, and they continue the busy schedule with one game against Lamar (Colo.) at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Williams Stadium.