Just before the first firework lit the sky above the Finny County Fairgrounds, a spark was lit just a few miles east at Clint Lightner Stadium.
That spark came thanks to a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth to blast the Wind to an 8-7 walk-off win over the visiting Great Bend Boom.
The outburst began with back-to-back singles from Leon Stimpson and Willie Ethington, followed by a walk of Manny Colon to load the bases with the Wind down 7-5.
After a pop out, Joey Cecere singled in two runs to tie it. After an intentional walk and a fielder’s choice, the bases were loaded once again. Clay Ardeeser — who homered earlier — drew four balls for the walk-off walk, sending the Wind to a 23-19 record and first place in the Pecos League’s North Division, after Trinidad fell to Topeka on Monday to drop to 23-20.
Reliever Jonathan Ovalles picked up the win for the Wind after 1 1/3 perfect innings. Starter Craig Jaquez’s solid effort — seven innings, three runs on six hits — was spoiled by a four-run inning allowed by reliever Chip White.
But the Wind offense rallied, and started the fireworks show just a little bit earlier than scheduled.
Great Bend 300 000 040 — 7 11 1
Garden City 200 100 203 — 8 8 1
Hernandez, Chavez(7), Gonsalves(8), Ramos(9), Lusk(9) and Baca. Jaquez, White(8), Ovalles(8) and Cooper. W—Ovalles. L—Ramos. 2B—Great Bend: Rembielak (6), Truex (8). HR—Great Bend: Baca (4); Garden City: Ardeeser (8).