Busters' baseball, softball teams have big weekend
Busters' baseball, softball teams have big weekend
By BRETT MARSHALL
It seems as though four-game weekend series in the Jayhawk West are agreeing with the Garden City Community College baseball team.
For the second straight weekend, this time on the road, the Broncbusters took three of four games.
The capstone to a successful weekend for coach Chris Finnegan and his team came Sunday with a 16-3 plundering of the Beavers after the home team prevented a sweep with a 6-1 victory in the opener.
Saturday's two-game sweep of the Beavers came with an offensive explosion with wins of 11-7 and 15-11.
"You can't really complain, getting three wins on the road and in the conference," GCCC coach Chris Finnegan said. "We had a great approach all weekend, even game three today (Sunday) I thought we swung the bats well, but had nothing to show for it."
The opening loss on Sunday didn't seem to have any negative after effects for the Busters in the finale.
They broke out with an 8-run first inning and were never threatened. Pratt scored one run in the first, but Garden added three runs in the third and two in the fourth, making it 13-1. The Beavers added two more in the fifth to end their scoring. Three more runs came home in the sixth and seventh frames.
In a 14-hit attack, Jaxon Mohr, Alex Buechler, Kaleb Zimmer and Rocky Desantis had two hits each. Desantis, Tyler Alitz, Zimmer, Buechler and Zach Barton drove home two runs apiece.
"As a whole, it was probably our best series of the season," Finnegan said. "We didn't particularly play good defense. We kicked it around 10 times (errors) on Saturday and were fortunate to have a lot of runs scored. We were able to get some big two-out hits and RBIs.
In Sunday's opening game, the Busters were limited to just four hits by Pratt's Colton Lorance.
The Beavers broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the fourth and tacked on two more in the sixth. Three GCCC pitchers gave up 11 hits to the Beavers, with Mitrch Framek being saddled with the loss after giving up seven hit and two runs in three and one-third innings of work.
Saturday's sweep of the Beavers was a day that saw the Busters' bats awaken as they scored 26 runs and had 22 hits in the two-game explosion.
In the opener on Saturday, the Busters had to overcome two significant deficits, the first one 4-0. GCCC evened the score with its own 4-run second inning. Kevin Czarnecki, Tyler Alitz and Jaxon Mohr all had run-scoring singles.
After falling behind by a 7-4 count in the fourth, back came the Busters with a 5-run fifth inning. Mason Fischer, Mohr and Zach Barton strung together three singles before Rocky Desantis and Nolan Barrientos were issued walks. Alex Buechler had a sacrifice fly and Czarneck capped it off with a 2-run double.
That made it 9-7 and the Busters added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Bradley Spires pitched a complete game to pick up the victory, despite giving up 10 hits with six of the runs being earned. He walked none and struckout six.
Czarnecki led the attack with three hits and three RBIs and scored twice. Mohr, Buechler and Alitz each had two hits and two RBIs.
Two big innings proved to be enough in the second Saturday victory, as the Busters erupted for six runs in the third and eight in the fifth. The victory came despite the Busters booting the ball around with seven errors.
The Busters sent 12 batters to the plate in the third and 13 batters in the fifth to take a commanding lead of 15-4.
Then, they had to hold off a furious rally by Pratt as the Beavers scored three runs in the fourth, two in the fifth, a single run in the sixth and four in the seventh. Pratt was able to pound out 15 hits off five GCCC pitchers.
Jake Eikleberry pitched five innings, giving up four runs, walked two and had three strikeouts in registering the win.
"I thought he (Eikleberry) pitched well after a shaky first inning," Finnegan said. "We made a bunch of mental mistakes to let them back in it. But Pratt's a tough place to play and I feel good about coming home with three wins."
Czarnecki continued to be red-hot at the plate, with three hits and three RBIs. Barton and Kaleb Zimmer had two hits each along with two runs driven in. Buechler had a 2-run double.
It was the second weekend of winning three of four conference games for the Busters to leave them at 6-2 in the Jayhawk West. They are 11-12 overall. They will have a pair of road games upcoming, heading to Lamar, Colo., for a 1 p.m. game on Tuesday and then heading to Clarendon, Texas, on Wednesday for a 2 p.m. test.
Sunday Game 1
Garden City 010 000 0 -- 1 4 0
Pratt 010 302 x -- 6 11 0
Sunday Game 2
Garden City 803 201 2 -- 16 14 1
Pratt 100 020 0 -- 3 10 1
WP--Clapper. LP--Cox. 2B--GCCC (Mohr, Buechler). 3B--GCCC (Alitz). RBI--GCCC (Fischer 3, Mohr 1, Barton 2, Buechler 2, Zimmer 2, Czarnecki 1, Alitz 2, Desantis 2). 2B--GCCC (Mohr, Buechler). 3B--GCCC (Alitz).
Saturday Game 1
Garden City 040 050 2 -- 11 12 3
Pratt 400 300 0 -- 7 10 0
WP--Spires. LP--Hoover. 2B--GCCC (Czarnecki, Alitz). HR--GCCC (Buechler). RBI--GCCC (Mohr 2, Barton 1, Barrientos 1, Buechler 2, Czarnecki 3, Alitz 2).
Saturday Game 2
Garden City 006 180 000 -- 15 10 7
Pratt 100 032 140 -- 11 15 1
WP--Eikleberry. LP--Home. 2B--GCCC (Buechler, Zimmer). RBI--GCCC (Fischer 1, Mohr 2, Barton 1, Buechler 2, Barrientos 1, Zimmer 2, Alitz 1, Desantis 1).
On Saturday at Great Bend, the Lady Broncbusters softball team swept a doubleheader from the Lady Cougars of Barton County by scores of 12-9 and 7-3.
The twin Jayhawk Conference wins improved the Lady Busters to 4-0 in conference play and 8-11 overall.
"We did a much better job and were able to string more hits together than we had been," said GCCC coach Becky Holland. "I saw a spark with the group, especially after the seventh inning of the first game."
That was when the Lady Busters broke a 4-all deadlock with eight runs. "It's always nice to see the bats get going," Holland said. "But we had a letdown and we've got to understand that when you get a lead like that, you want to finish strong."
After grabbing what seemed to be a commanding 12-4 lead, the Busters gave up five runs to the Cougars in the bottom of the seventh. Contributing to that was a total of seven errors in the game.
"We kicked the ball around too much," Holland said. "It was uncharacteristic of the kids to do that."
Eight of the nine players in the lineup had at least one RBI, with Danielle Aronoff and Chelsea Justice getting two each.
Kallie Hoover picked up the win despite giving up the nine runs. She walked three and had five strikeouts. She is now 5-4 for the season.
In the second game, the Lady Busters broke a scoreless tie with a four-run fourth inning.
Justice and Emilie Laliberte had back-to-back doubles to score one run. Shanks reached on an error, resulting in Laliberte getting home. Amber Peterson singled to score Shanks. Micaela Werner also reached on an error, resulting in Peterson coming home to score.
In the seventh, the Busters tacked on three runs to give them some breathing room.
After the bases were loaded, Hoover was hit by a pitch to score one run. Werner singled, scoring Shanks and Aguiniga singled to push Peterson home.
Joslynn Lopez went the distance to pick up her second win of the season, giving up six hits, walking one and striking out five.
Laliberte and Shanks had two hits each to pace an 11-hit attack and the defense tightened up, committing just one error.
"We were just more consistent throughout in the second game," Holland said. "That's one of the things that has caused us some problems, but I think this will be a big positive step for us."
Garden City 001 102 8 — 12 16 7
Barton 020 110 5 — 9 11 4
WP--Hoover. LP--Dunlavy. 2B--Justice. RBI--Aguiniga, Barleen, Aronoff 2, Justice 2, Laliberte, Shanks, Hoover, Werner.
Garden City 000 400 3 — 7 11 1
Barton 000 200 1 — 3 6 6
WP--Lopez. LP--Haney. 2B--Justice, Laliberte, Shanks. RBI--Aguiniga, Laliberte, Peterson, Hoover, Werner 2.