Garden City drops scoring fest, 15-14

GCCC Sports Information Services
Garden City Comunity College first baseman Tyler Barth, left, squeezes his glove shut around the ball as he takes a throw at first base to get Colby's Brayden Nichols out Feb. 26 at Williams Stadium.

BORGER, Texas - So far, the early-season reviews on Chris Finnegan's pitching staff are mixed. They've had brilliant performances from Andrew Petrowski and Guillermo Gelpi, sprinkled in with the not-so-good, like Wednesday. And yet, the patchwork job that Finnegan and pitching coach, Justin Mulvaney did in Texas, nearly brought the brown and gold another improbable victory. But instead, the tandem watched helplessly as another ninth-inning lead vanished.

Cameron French homered and drove in the winning run in the ninth, Cory Bonstrom collected two hits, and Frank Phillips erased a seven-run deficit to hand Garden City Community College its third straight loss, 15-14 at Plainsmen Field.

This game marked the second consecutive outing in which the Broncbusters used more than five pitchers. In fact, on Wednesday, they utilized 11, with nobody tossing more than two innings. Starter, Cameron Sistrunk's feel-good story lasted only one frame before running into serious trouble in the second. French laced a one-out single followed by Hayden Foster's two-run double. Juan Terrero singled to center, and the freshman's day was done well before it started. Caleb Ayers was quickly inserted and got Wesley Flatt to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play. But that play still produced a run as did Miguel Ramos's error at third moments later that put the Plainsmen up 5-2. It was a microcosm of the entire day- a half-inning stretch that erased Nico Vito's second-inning two-run double that had Garden City up 2-0.

Frank Phillips kept attacking in the third, and after a Preston Mills lead-off two bagger, French homered to right off of reliever, DJ Burke to make it 7-2.

But as they've done all season, no matter how big the hole, Garden City stormed back, and with two outs in the fourth, Michael Wright tattooed Corbin Lingo's fastball over the fence in center-a two-run blast that pulled the Broncbusters to within two. Oh, and Wright wasn't finished. An inning later, the freshman homered again, this time pulverizing a two-run shot to right to tie the game. Blake Beauchene followed with a solo dinger, and Will Gardner drove a run in on a hard ground ball to short that put the Broncbusters up 9-7. Wright added an RBI single in the 7th, Kyle Jameson scored on a passed ball, and Gardner drew a bases-loaded walk, giving the road team what appeared to be a safe seven-run cushion.

Not so fast.

Frank Phillips got two back in the bottom of the seventh and one in the eighth to make it a four-run game. That set up the fatal ninth, an inning in which the Broncbusters used four different pitchers to try to finish the deal. No such luck.

Elliott Hermann's error at first allowed the first run to score. Yadier Medina followed with an RBI single, Richard Witherspoon doubled home Bonstrom, and Mills pushed a ball to the right side of the infield that scored Medina to tie the game. That set the table for French, who smacked the first offering he saw and drove it into center for the game winner.

The loss spoiled a spectacular day for Wright who went 4-for-6 at the plate with two long balls and seven knocked in for Garden City. Beauchene was 3-for-5, and Vite drove in two. But three Broncbuster errors coupled with an off day on the bump all spelled a third straight loss.

Garden City travels to Otero for a 1 p.m. game on Tuesday.