The Garden City Wind are off to their best start — by leaps and bounds — in franchise history this season.
Through 11 games — with the Wind’s game Tuesday night vs. Roswell not finished at time of press — the Wind were 8-3. The best the Wind could do through 11 games to begin the season was 4-7 in 2016.
That year, the Wind were able to rebound and make the Pecos League postseason. But each of their other three seasons of existence (2015, 2017 and 2018), the Wind have started the season 2-9, and each time they finished well below .500.
This year may be different.
The Wind were sitting in second as of Tuesday afternoon, just a half-game behind first-place Alpine (8-2). Roswell (8-4) is just behind in third place, as well, meaning the final two games of that series (Tuesday and Wednesday) are pivotal.
The Wind have been a big-time slugging club so far this season, with the offense averaging 11.8 runs per game, just behind Alpine’s 12.3. They also lead the league with 28 home runs and 103 RBIs.
The attack is led by first baseman Nick Snyder, who is hitting .383 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs. Left fielder Cutter McDowell is hitting .400 with seven stolen bases, and second baseman Jordan Pontious is clubbing .486 with 15 runs scored. Pontious has walked six times and struck out just three times.
That offense has provided run support for a pitching staff that has been middle of the road in the Pecos League, recording a 6.75 ERA. Though, starter Rich Edwards has been brilliant for the Wind in his three starts. He’s 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA, eight strikeouts and just one walk in 20 innings.
Layne Gusler has also been solid, going 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA in two starts (13.0 innings).
After finishing the three-game set with Roswell this week, the Wind face Trinidad for nine-straight games, before facing Roswell for a two-game set in New Mexico.
The Wind don’t face first-place Alpine until the end of June (27-28-29 at Clint Lightner Field).