Bronbusters take two from Pratt on Friday
Twice in Friday's series opener with Pratt, Chris Finnegan's team found themselves behind. But as they've done so often this season, they found a way in the end.
Geoff Marlow collected three hits, Kyle Jameson knocked in two runs, and Garden City Community College beat Pratt 7-4 at Williams Stadium.
"Our pitching got better as the day went on," Finnegan said. "Our guys just found a way."
And they did it despite starter Andrew Petrowski laboring through most of his 3.2 innings of work. He walked two in the first before yielding a two-out, two-run single to Marcello Aguirre. An inning later, he issued two more free passes but got out of trouble when Pierecen Dooling was thrown out trying to swipe second and Cooper Bradbury flied out to left. That was followed up by a smooth-sailing third inning where he got Devon Nicholson to bounce into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play. But he never made it through the fourth, giving up a lead-off double to Aguirre and a walk to Brenden Tauber. Finnegan then turned to Shane Miller, who ended the scoring threat by fanning Bradbury on a high fastball.
Meantime the offense had a tough time figuring out Beavers' starter Caleb Cude, who held Garden City without hit until Marlow singled to right with one out in the fourth. Following an error and a fielder's choice, Jameson ripped a two-run double to the gap. Michael Wright followed with an RBI base hit, and the Broncbusters led 3-2.
The bullpen though failed to hold the lead.
In the Pratt fifth, Gunner Hutson crushed Trey Schwerdtfeger's offering and parked it over the wall in left for a solo homer that put the Beavers back on top 4-3. But Garden City tied it the next time they came up on Mason Mitchel's sacrifice fly. Then, in the sixth, the Broncbusters took the lead behind a two-out rally. Miguel Ramos was hit by a pitch, Cullen Glosson drew a four-pitch walk, and Marlow battled through a 10-pitch at bat to rip a three-run double to left that made it 7-4.
The Beavers never threated again.
Petrowski threw 77 pitches and walked six batters for Garden City. He allowed two earned runs on four hits while the bullpen allowed just two runs over the final 3.1 innings.
Cude was sharp early but then faded late, walking five over four innings for the Beavers. He gave up three runs (none earned) on four hits while striking out five.
There is just something about playing from behind that fuels Garden City.
Michael Wright blasted his fifth homer of the season, Will Gardner and Ibrahim Rodriguez each knocked in three, and the Broncbusters rallied from a four-run deficit to down Pratt 19-7 in game two Friday afternoon at Williams Stadium.
Unlike the opener, the Broncbusters found some offense early in this one. Kyle Jameson's sacrifice fly scored one run before Cullen Glosson came home on a passed ball to make it 2-0 in the second. But the Beavers teed off on Raul Garcia in the third, scoring six runs on five hits including Marcelo Aguirre's two-run homer and Brenden Tauber's RBI double that put the road team up 6-2.
It was all Garden City from there.
The Broncbusters responded with a seven-run bottom half where the first five batters reached. Ibrahim Rodriguez and Glosson delivered RBI singles, and Wright put Garden City up for good with a three-run shot to dead center. In the fifth, Blake Beauchene's sac fly, and Gardner's two-out, two-run double gave the Broncbusters an eight-run cushion. They added a pair of RBI doubles by Jameson and Wright in the sixth before Ryan Muniz drew a bases-loaded walk. Two batters later, Rodriguez hit a sac fly to make it a 13-run lead.
Meantime the Beavers went silent after that big third inning. They managed just one hit until the seventh when Chase Veatch singled home a run after Evan Dean issued a pair of one-out walks. But after plunking Tauber, he settled down, striking out Cason long before Piercen Dooling popped out to Beauchene to end the game.
Noah McCandless earned his first victory of the year in three brilliant innings of relief, striking out four while surrendering just one hit. Wright finished 2-for-4 at the dish with three runs scored and four RBI, and Tyler Barth, Glosson, and Mason Mitchell each collected two hits.
Quinn Tocheniuk allowed nine runs on seven hits for Pratt, who lost their fourth straight game.