The Garden City Wind will head into weekend’s pivotal home series against Trinidad, Colo., with a slight advantage.
Thanks to a 19-7 win on Thursday night over Great Bend at Clint Lightner Stadium, the Wind (21-17) will have a half-game lead atop the Pecos League’s North Division, just ahead of the Trinidad Triggers.
The two teams that have battled for first place over the last week will meet for three games, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Clint Lightner. The Triggers have lost five in a row, but have not played since June 26.
Meanwhile, the WInd are 7-3 in the previous 10 games, including Thursday night’s walloping of the Boom. The Wind scored six runs in the first two innings, and added three more in the fourth after the Boom cut the deficit to 6-5.
But it was an eight-run outburst in the eighth that salted the rout. The Busters sent 12 batters to the plate in the frame, and put the game away despite just one extra-base hit — a two-run double by Eric Esquilin.
The center fielder finished 3 for 5 — including a home run and a triple — with four RBIs and four runs scored. He also walked once. All but one Wind player who recored an at bat had a hit, as the offense racked up 16. First baseman Clay Ardeeser was also 3 for 5.
Wind starter Ryan Riordan picked up the fortunate win after allowing seven runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out just one. But the Wind Bullpen shut down the Boom after that, with Chip White, Austin Hilton and Chris Gammon each pitching one scoreless inning to close out the victory.
The Boom fall further behind in the North at 14-23, and 6.5 games behind the Wind.
Great Bend 010 402 000 — 7 7 2
Garden City 240 320 08x — 19 16 3
Santhon, Lusk(2), Wisser(5), Gonsalves(6), Blackiston(8), Ramos(8) and Tasis. Riordan, White(7), Hilton(8), Gammon(9) and Cooper. W—Riordan. L—Santhon. 2B—Great Bend: Truex (7); Garden City: Cecere (10), Esquilin (2), Ethington (6). 3B—Garden City: Esquilin (1), Stimpson (1). HR—Great Bend: Pudgett (1), Lusk (1); Garden City: Esquilin (2), Cooper (1).