Buffaloes rout Lamar in road win

GCHS Athletics
Garden City High School's Reid Hopkins connects with a Great Bend pitch during an April 23 game at Clint Lightner Field.  The Buffaloes picked up a road win Monday at Lamar, Colo.

LAMAR, COLO - On the surface, it appears that Monday night’s 21-9 victory by the Garden City Buffaloes baseball team over Lamar, Colo., was a rout.

In the end, that’s exactly how it looks. Look closer and it was anything but.

Once leading by scores of 6-1 and 10-4, the Buffs nearly gave away every inch of that advantage when Lamar came up with 5 runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the margin to a single run at 10-9.

Then, the Buffs’ bats came alive in their final at-bat, scoring 11 runs, sending 16 batters to the plate. They had 2 triples and 3 doubles in the outburst which also included 3 batters hit by a pitch and 5 issued walks.

Garden City finished the game with 14 hits, with Reid Hopkins leading the way by going 4-for-4, with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Kaiden Luna went 2-for-5 with a double and triple to account for 5 RBIs and 3 runs scored. Caleb Wiese also went 2-for-5 with 3 runs driven in and 3 runs scored off a double and triple while Caleb Metzen, who pitched the final two innings, was 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored.

“The bats were working all day and we were able to execute steals (8) and bunts at will,” Reich said. “The kids were aggressive on the bases all night and it paid off.”

The Buffs had 5 batters hit by pitches and took advantage of 10 walks issued by Lamar pitchers. The Savages did account for 10 strikeouts of the Buffs’ hitters.

Iziah Salinas pitched the first four innings (68 pitches) and was solid on the mound. He yielded just 3 hits, 1 run which was unearned (GC had 4 errors), recorded 4 strikeouts and walked 3. Peyton Walters pitched just one inning and struggled, throwing 51 pitches while giving up 5 hits, 7 runs (6 earned), striking out 1 and walking 3. Metzen tossed the final two innings and gave up 2 hits, 1 run, 1 earned, striking out 5 and issuing no walks. He had 35 pitches as the final pitch was recorded.

“Overall, I thought the pitchers did well,” Reich said. “We kept the walks down and I thought that was key and we limited errors despite having a few.”

The victory improved the Buffs’ season record to 9-4. They will next be on the road Friday and Saturday at the Emporia Classic. On Friday, they will face Andover Central at 5 p.m. and then on Saturday meet Blue Valley-West at 10 a.m.

Garden City 032 014 (11) -- 21 14 4

Lamar, Colo. 001 035 0 -- 9 10 2

GC—Salinas (W), Walters (5), Metzen (6) and Baltazar; Lamar—McTaggert (L), Jimenez (3), Burxton (4), Ratcliff (6), Clark (7) and Gonzalez. 2B—GC (Almanza, Baltazar, Hopkins, Luna, Wiese). 3B—GC (Luna, Metzen, Wiese), Lamar—Burxton. LOB—Garden City 10, Lamar 8.