Hutchinson's ability to hit the long ball was a key factor in the Blue Dragons' sweep of Jayhawk Conference West Division doubleheader against Garden City on Thursday at Hobart-Detter Field.

Zane Schmidt tied an HCC record for home runs in a game by belting three, including a walk-off, three-run shot to right field in the seventh as Hutchinson won 8-7 in Game 1. Schmidt equaled former Dragon Michael Helman, who launched three home runs for the Blue Dragons against Independence on May 7, 2016.

Schmidt's six RBIs versus the Broncbusters in the first game Thursday put him in eight-way tie for fifth in that category for a single game.

Zach Baxley's two-run homer in the fourth inning of Game 2, combined with solid pitching and defense, allowed Hutchinson to take Game 2 by a 3-1 margin.

"We lost two after having 12 free bases on the day and we didn't pitch very well," Broncbusters coach Chris Finnegan said. "We had three different scenarios where we could tie the game or take a lead, and we were punched out with runners in scoring position. We didn't get a barrel on the baseball, and rolled into two double plays."

While GCCC stranded 11 baserunners in the twin bill, the Broncbusters' defense forced the Blue Dragons to leave 20 runners on the base paths.

"We have to get better on the mound and we have to get better in situational hitting," Finnegan said.

Game 1

Trailing 7-5, HCC pulled off a three-run rally with two outs in its last at-bat.

Will Reetz hit a double to center field to kickstart Hutchinson's comeback before Logan Santori's RBI single made it a one-run game. Schmidt followed with his third home run in his last three plate appearances to win it for the Blue Dragons.

Garden City took a 7-4 advantage in the sixth as Turner McDonald hit an RBI single in front of Sean Klein's two-run homer. But Schmidt answered with his second round-tripper — a solo shot — to make it a two-run margin in the bottom half.

The Broncbusters built a 4-0 lead with a three-run third before adding a single tally in the fifth.

Klein's RBI double produced the first run of the game before Corbin Truslow's two-run homer handed Garden City a 3-0 lead in the third.

An error with two outs in the fifth helped the Broncbusters load the bases before before Garden City extended its lead to 4-0. A walk by HCC starting pitcher Miguel Reyes Jr. forced in McDonald for a four-run GCCC edge.

Hutchinson limited any more damage by the Broncbusters in the frame as Collin Stone reached on a dropped third strike but Truslow was out on a force at home.

The Blue Dragons tied the game at 4 in the fifth by taking advantage of a hit-by-pitch and an error. With a pair of baserunners aboard, Schmidt sent a fly ball over the fence in center field for his first home run of the game, a three-run shot.

HCC had the bases loaded in the fifth after a walk, another hit-by-pitch and a Max McGuire single before Zach Baxley's RBI hit made it a 4-4 tie.

Zach Philbin (3-0) was the winning pitcher after tossing one inning of scoreless relief. He struck out two of the three hitters he faced.

Jacob Douglas (6-1) suffered his first loss on the mound this season. In 2 1/3 innings of relief, he gave up four earned runs on five hits with one strikeout and one walk.

Finnegan said his pitching staff performed better in the second game.

"They were a lot better after I started calling pitches because (in the first game) we had no clue what we were doing," Finnegan said. "After a handful of times of asking if we were on the same page with things, I just took it from them. That's what we had to do to get anybody out. Hutchinson was extending innings (in Game 1) by hitting with two strikes and we were hitting a lot of barrels."

Game 2

Garden City took a 1-0 lead in the third as Jake Barber led off with a single, stole second and third and scored on a wild throw from center field after Klein popped out.

Hutchinson forced a 1-1 tie in the third by taking advantage of a two-out error. With baserunners at first and second, Ryan Moritz sent an RBI single to center field, plating Reetz with the game-tying tally.

The first two Blue Dragons attacked Broncbusters' starting pitcher Malachi Crone to begin the fourth. Christopher Noble led off the frame with a single and came home on Baxley's two-run homer to center field for a 3-1 HCC lead.

Winning pitcher Jake Bunz pitched seven solid innings of three-hit, one-run ball. He struck out seven and walked two.

Garden City had a pair of late rallies denied by Hutchinson's defense in the eighth and ninth.

Blue Dragons' reliever Zach Firmature walked the first two Broncbusters to begin the eighth before Klein's sacrifice bunt against HCC reliever Ryan Summers moved the Garden City baserunners to second and third. Another walk loaded the bases with one out.

Summers rebounded to get Dakota Finley, whose grounder to Dylan Nedved resulted in the Hutchinson shortstop stepping on second base and throwing to Baxley at first for a double play.

After Brenden Andersen led off the Garden City ninth with a single to right field, Summers battled back to get Stone on strikes before Chris Lara grounded into a Sartori-Neved-Baxley (6-4-3) game-ending double play.

Summers earned his first save.

Crone (3-1) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits with five strikeouts and one walk in five innings. Miguel Ramos and Ryan Mason combined to pitch three innings of scoreless relief.

Up Next

The Blue Dragons (18-12, 9-5) and Broncbusters (17-11, 3-7) complete a four-game Jayhawk Conference West Division series with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday in Garden City.