Corbin Truslow hit a pair of home runs and drove in seven runs, Austin Stone worked his way through five solid innings and the Garden City Broncbusters rolled to a 10-2 win in Friday’s opener of a four-game series with Indian Hills (Iowa).
However, in the nightcap, the Busters’ pitching staff stumbled its way through nine innings and, outside of a big first inning, the offense stalled en route to a 14-5 loss to the Warriors at Williams Stadium.
The doubleheader split leaves the Busters at 9-6 to begin the season, splitting each of their last three twin bills. The Busters and Warriors will continue the series at noon Sunday, instead of the previous schedule of playing Saturday.
Garden City 10, Indian Hills 2
Continuing his hot start to the season, the Busters’ cleanup hitter, Truslow pulled a first-inning three-run home run to right field that gave them an early 3-0 lead. Then, in the sixth, Truslow sealed the Busters’ win with a grand slam on a 1-1 pitch for his fourth home run of the season.
“He’s ran into a couple of balls,” GCCC head coach Chris Finnegan said of his first-year slugger, who spent last year on the football team at the Colorado School of Mines. “He’s still giving away some at bats that he shouldn’t, but he’s still really young at this.”
Truslow’s blasts gave some breathing room to Stone, who walked four and allowed four hits across five innings, but limited the damage to just two runs and struck out six.
“I don’t think he had great stuff Game 1, but I thought he grinded through five innings for us,” Finnegan said.
He got the win to improve to 3-1 with a 4.24 ERA through four starts.
Indian Hills 14, Garden City 5
After the Warriors scored three first-inning runs off Buster starter Jacob Garza, the Buster offense responded with three of its own in the bottom half, with Robbie Young delivering a two-run double and Chris Lara an RBI single.
And they answered a single run from the Warriors in the third with one of their own, as well, another Lara RBI. But the Warriors scored three more in the fourth, after Garza was relieved by Ryan Nason, and the offense could not match it.
“I thought we played pretty well for the first four innings, but then it kind of got away from us,” Finnegan said.
Only Scott Waterman — of four Buster relievers — managed to keep the Warriors from adding to their lead, as they rolled to the win.
“Our bullpen hasn’t been very good this year,” Finnegan said. “We haven’t had to go to it a lot, but we don’t have the bullpen that Garden City normally has.”