GCCC rally falls short

GCCC Sports Information Services
Garden City Community College third baseman Nico Vite scoops up a Colby grounder and throws to first base for an out Saturday at Williams Stadium.

Chris Finnegan always talks about giving opponents free bases. It's an aspect of the game that drives the former college catcher insane. And on Tuesday, he watched helplessly as his staff issued 13 walks, the second most this season.   

Victor Plaz hit a home run and knocked in three, Luis Morales and Cole Miears each collected two hits, and Clarendon held on to beat Garden City Community College 8-5 at Williams Stadium. It was the Broncbusters second straight loss, dropping them to 7-4 overall.

And it was definitely a shaky outing for starter Ryan Estey.

After a relatively smooth first inning, the freshman right hander issued four straight walks to begin the top of the second. Finnegan pulled the plug immediately, replacing him with Caleb Ayers, who instantly gave up an RBI single to Luis Morales. But he managed to get out of trouble with a pair of strikeouts and a force out to end the inning.

Then it appeared Garden City had shifted momentum in the bottom half when Miguel Ramos lasered a ball over the wall in center for a solo home run. But after Will Gardner followed with a single, Goeff Marlow, Cullen Glosson and Mason Mitchell all went down in order.

Clarendon then went back to work in the third when Plaz bounced into an RBI fielder's choice. Two innings later, he blasted Noah McCandless's 2-2 fastball well beyond the left-field fence, giving the Bulldogs a 5-1 advantage. They added another run in the sixth and two more in the eighth when Jake Gimbel served up a run-scoring base hit to JC Reed.   

The Broncbusters, who have made a living this season erasing massive deficits, started chipping away in the seventh. Marlow singled home Ramos, and Glosson smashed a ball to deep left that made it 8-3. Two batters later, Kyle Jameson hit into a double play that allowed Marlow to score from third. Then in the ninth, the brown and gold made things very interesting loading the bases with only one out. But the rally was cut short when Ramos was out in front of fastball and harmlessly popped out to third.

Etsey lasted only an inning for Garden City, allowing two runs while walking five. Ayers pitched two innings and surrendered one run, and McCandless went two and gave up two runs on three hits. In all, the Broncbusters used 10 pitchers while the offense was limited to just seven hits.

Garden City was at Frank Phillips on Wednesday.