HAYS — The Garden City baseball team stayed focused and showed resiliency during a miserable day for baseball, but a couple rough innings doomed the Buffaloes on the road Friday against Thomas More Prep-Marian.
Garden City held leads in both games but had trouble limiting damage against TMP, falling 14-4 and 14-8 to the Monarchs.
The twin bill took nearly five and a half hours to complete thanks to a delay of about an hour when all the lights went out on the left side of the field in the sixth.
Both teams had to brave cold and windy conditions but managed to get the games in before forecasted snow hit Hays.
“The first game we were obviously still kind of asleep and on the bus and were worried about the conditions, but the second game I think played out a little bit better,” Garden City coach Justin Reich said. “We still weren’t as disciplined at the plate as I would have liked to have been and then we kicked it around an inning or two, and that’s what got us in the hole. We clean those things up it’s a different game.”
The Buffaloes took advantage of four Monarch errors during the first two innings to take a 3-0 lead in the first game, but Garden City returned the generosity by committing five errors during the game.
Things unraveled in the fifth when TMP (8-0) batted around and put up eight runs to grab a 12-3 lead. The Monarchs would force the run rule in the sixth.
“We keep giving up big innings and it has a lot to do with kicking the ball around,” Reich said. “It’s not poor pitching or anything like that. It’s giving up too many things on defense that we should be making sound plays on.”
Garden City grabbed a 5-4 lead in the fourth inning of the second game after an RBI double from Andrew Kreutzer and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Cooper Thayer.
However, TMP grabbed the lead with three runs in the bottom of the inning and added four more in the fourth to break away.
One of the bright spots of game two for Garden City was a solo home run to left field by senior David Arteaga in the top of the sixth.
The Buffaloes were trailing by the final margin of 14-8 in the bottom of the sixth inning when the lights went out, causing the delay.
“It is what it is,” Reich said. “They went through the same thing we did, so you just have to come back out and play baseball after that.”
Thayer had two hits for the Buffaloes in game one and started on the mound, pitching into the fifth before reaching his pitch count restriction. Elier Arreola started game two for Garden City, pitching into the fourth inning before Austin Waetzig went the rest of the way.
The Buffs saw their record slip to 1-7 overall and they will return to Hays on Tuesday, but this time to face Hays High in a Western Athletic Conference doubleheader. First pitch will be at 4 p.m.