Error-prone Busters ousted at Region VI baseball Super-Regional

5/13/2013

Error-prone Busters ousted at Region VI baseball Super-Regional

Error-prone Busters ousted at Region VI baseball Super-Regional

By ADAM HOLT

aholt@gctelegram.com

For the second straight game, the first ball put into play against the Garden City Community College baseball team was mishandled for an error, and ended up costing the Broncbusters a run.

And like in Friday's Region VI Super-Regional opening loss, Garden City's offense didn't do enough early in the game, this time a 6-4 loss to Colby on Saturday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita that ended GCCC's season.

The Busters were charged with four errors, resulting in five of the six runs the Trojans scored being unearned.

"Thought we swung well, we hit some balls hard at some guys," GCCC head coach Chris Finnegan said in a telephone interview. "But on the flip side of it, we didn't play defense all day. "

The Trojans chased starter Jake Eikleberry from the game in the seventh, as part of a three-run inning, to go up 6-1. The left-hander was pulled after walking the leadoff man and seeing Colby move him over with a sacrifice bunt. Garrett Bryant came in and was hurt by a throwing error, which allowed a run to score. Hunter Brown doubled in a run, and the Trojans got their sixth run when Brown stole home.

"They executed a couple things," Finnegan said. "We mishandled some balls. In the long run, they scored a sixth run, they stole home on us. We didn't check the runner, so you've got to give them credit. They executed their game plan. We didn't."

Garden City rallied with three two-out runs in the ninth, and had the tying run on base, but Tyler Alitz grounded out to shortstop to end the game.

Eikleberry went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs, one earned, on six hits and three walks, striking out one in taking the loss.

"I thought Jake Eikleberry did a great job today on the mound," Finnegan said. "I thought he gave us a quality start. We just didn't defend well."

David Johnson went 8 2/3 innings for Colby, allowing four runs, one earned, on eight hits and a walk, striking out one. Jorge Cruz came in to get the final out for the Trojans.

Colby scored in the first inning, and added two more in the third, largely thanks to a throwing error. Garden City responded with a run in the fourth after Nolan Barrientos walked and later scored on Alex Buechler's single.

The Busters finish the season 28-27, but were second in the Jayhawk West, and a win away from tying for the division title. Garden City only had five sophomores on its roster this season, and Finnegan was happy to see the young group start to figure things out as the season progressed.

"My overall thought of the year was, there's a lot of good things that came out of this year," he said. "When your roster's 28 freshmen, there's gonna be a lot of growing pains. We had a lot of growing pains. At times, we were like a roller coaster, up and down; played really well, would play really bad. Didn't get any consistency until late in the year, which was good — they started figuring out some things."

Garden City loses center fielder Mason Fischer, right fielder Alex Buechler, third baseman Kevin Czarnecki, and pitchers Mitch Franek and Colton Kibler. Finnegan said he thinks his incoming recruiting class will mesh well with the returning players, and that the experience they got this year will help going into next season.

"They understand what it's like to be in Wichita now. They understand what the grind is to be an everyday player at the college level, especially junior college," Finnegan said. "A lot of the stuff is a lot more mental than physical that they had to go through."

In another Saturday game, No. 2 ranked Cowley lost 4-0 to Coffeyville, then lost on Sunday, 8-7, to Seward County to be eliminated from the Region VI tournament. Kansas City, Kan., then eliminated Colby with a 5-4 win in 10 innings. Noesho blanked Coffeyville, 4-0, and then Kansas City met Seward County in the late game. Two games were to be played today at 4 and 7 p.m.

------

Colby 6, Garden City 4

Colby 102 000 300 -- 6 8 3

Garden CIty 000 100 003 -- 4 8 4

WP--Johnson. LP--Eikleberry. SV--Cruz.

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