Garden City C.C. drops 6-3 game to Coffeyville in Wichita
By ADAM HOLT
The first ball put into play in the Garden City Community College baseball team's game against Coffeyville on Friday was misplayed for an error.
That was pretty much the story early in a 6-3 loss in the Broncbusters' first game at the Region VI Super Regional at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita. The loss puts Garden City in the losers' bracket in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament, and doesn't leave any room for error the rest of the way, starting at 1 p.m. today against Colby.
The Red Ravens scored in the first inning, and added four more in the second to go up 5-0 early.
"Kind of set the tone early," GCCC head coach Chris Finnegan said in a telephone interview. "First ball put in play, routine play for our third baseman — we kick it. Kind of set the tone, they earned their run in the first inning."
Garden City starter Bradley Spires struggled with his control, walking five batters in one full inning of work, including four straight to start the second. He also threw three wild pitches, two of which allowed runs to score.
"Thought we had Bradley settled down, and he just started spraying the ball, had no command of any pitches," Finnegan said. "You walk five guys in a row, there's not a lot of good things that are gonna happen."
Spires walked Alex Wilson, Braden Brown and Adam Valencia to start the second, then threw a wild pitch that scored Wilson before walking Chase Rader. With Jordan Hodges up to bat, Spires threw another wild pitch, which allowed Brown to score. TJ Clapper came on in relief, and the Ravens got a pair of RBI groundouts to make it 5-0.
Not a good start.
"There's no question," Finnegan said. "When you're down 5-0 right off the bat, it's tough to come back. Doesn't matter if it's a playoff setting or anything."
Clapper pitched seven innings of one-run ball, allowing four hits and two walks, while striking out three.
Garden City battled back in the fifth inning, getting three two-out runs to pull within 5-3. Alex Buechler was hit by a pitch and stole second, Zach Barton singled, Mason Fischer walked, followed up by singles from Tyler Alitz and Kaleb Zimmer.
"I thought we continued to play hard," Finnegan said. "Obviously, we played pretty well defensively, and Clapper gave us a great opportunity. Thomas came in and threw a great one inning of relief. We kept battling. We got a couple of big hits there, in the inning where we scored three. It just wasn't enough."
In the day's other games, Neosho County beat Fort Scott, 4-2, and will play Kansas City, Kan., a 2-1 winner over Seward County, at 4 p.m. today. Coffeyville faces Cowley, a 7-3 winner over Colby, at 7 p.m.
Garden City plays Colby at 1 p.m. The Busters won the regular season series 3-1 at Colby.
"We've got to come back, and obviously, you've got two teams whose backs are against the wall, and they're playing to play one more day, and put the uniform on for one game for the season," Finnegan said. "We'll have to hook it up, and we'll have to be committed to throwing strikes and make the routine plays. If we can't do that, it'll be a short day for us."
Coffeyville 6, Garden City 3
Coffeyville 140 000 100 -- 6 6 0
Garden City 000 030 000 -- 3 7 2
WP--Miller. LP--Spires. SV--Aldana.