It took three dates before the Garden City Buffaloes baseball team could find its way for the long trip to face Junction City.
Originally scheduled for March 26, and then postponed to Tuesday, the Buffs finally played the Bluejays on Wednesday.
But the long wait proved to be a painful one as the Buffs were knocked out in two, six-inning, run-rule games, falling 11-1 and 15-4.
“It was a rough day,” first-year coach Justin Reich said afterward. “We ran into a really good pitcher in the first game (KU commit), and we were undisciplined at the plate, swinging at a lot of bad pitches.”
Reich also said errors and walks continued to plague the team, with this doubleheader also being played on natural grass as was their opening losses last week to Wichita Heights.
“We’ve got to become better at playing on grass,” Reich said. “We’re pretty good on the turf at home, but we’ve got to find a way to improve when we’re on grass.”
The Buffs were once again without the services of junior pitcher/infielder Cooper Thayer, who is recovering from an injury. His status for Saturday is yet to be determined.
The losses dropped the Buffs to 0-4. They will next face Wichita North at noon Saturday in a twin bill at Clint Lightner Stadium. The Redskins were originally set to play here on Friday but the forecast of rain/snow showers and temps in the high 30s/low 40s, forced officials to postpone the doubleheader by a day.
Junction City 11, Garden City 1
It didn’t take the Bluejays long to take the lead and then extend it.
The Bluejays scored twice in their half of the first, added one in the fourth to make it 3-0.
The Buffs’ lone score came in the top of the fifth when Arteaga singled to open the frame. He went to second on an error and then advanced to third on an infield groundout. Lance Allred’s groundout then brought Arteaga home.
Elier Arreola went three innings, giving up just one hit, but three runs before yielding to Carson Sheeter, who struggled by giving up eight runs, several of those coming on errors from the Buffs’ defense.
“Carson actually threw well at times for us, but didn’t get the support he needed,” Reich said.
Junction City iced this one with five runs in the fifth and another three in the sixth for the 10-run rule to go into effect.
The Buffs managed just two hits off Bluejay pitching.
Junction City 15, Garden City 4
Things got off to a promising start for the Buffaloes, scoring three runs in the top of the first.
Andrew Kreutzer opened with a walk, went to second on a passed ball and then Isaiah Ramos and David Arteaga reached on consecutive hit by pitches.
Auston Waetzig drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly. Then, with two out, Jayden Escamilla drilled a line drive double to left, scoring both Ramos and Arteaga.
The Bluejays quickly trimmed the Buffs’ lead to 3-2 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first and then it was an 11-run outburst in the Junction City second that put the game away.
One more run came home for the Buffs, this one in the fifth, when Kreutzer doubled with one out and then came home on Arteaga’s single to left.
The Bluejays, however, would end the game an inning early by scoring four more runs in the bottom of the sixth to finish off the run-rule game.
Kreutzer’s two hits were tops for the Buffs, who were checked on six hits by Junction City's Thane McDaniel, a junior who has committed to the University of Kansas.
The Bluejays, meanwhile, cracked out 17 hits off three Garden pitchers, as Aaron Urrutia was saddled with the loss after pitching the first two innings.