By Mike Pilosof
Roswell, NM-Through 12 games, Conner Reynolds swing may be the sweetest thing the Jayhawk Conference has seen in quite some time. On Friday afternoon, his bat was once again on full display.
The sophomore crushed two more home runs and drove in five runs as the Broncbusters took the first two games from New Mexico Military 5-2 and 5-4 at J.P. White Field.
Game one was a defensive stalemate for the first 3.5 innings. Then, in the bottom of the fourth, the Broncos finally broke through. Dustin Renfroe's one-out double was followed by Jordan Williams being plunked by a Connor Burns fastball. Alex Pimentel singled with two outs to load the bases before Angel Colon drew a four-pitch walk that scored Renfroe from third. Burns got out of the jam by getting Cub Turcotte to fly out to right.
Garden City (9-3) rebounded quickly in the fifth. With runners at second and third, Alex Eskridge smoked a single that plated Ty Barclay and tied the game 1-1. Aeneas Roberson followed with an RBI single, pushing the Broncbusters in front. With a runner at second, the inning short circuited when Reynolds flew out to left and Nielsen grounded out to short.
New Mexico Military tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the fifth on Renfroe's RBI groundout that scored Onix Vega.
That setup for some theatrics in the top of the seventh.
Ty Lightley led off the frame by doubling to right. He eventually came around to score on Roberson's single that gave Garden City a 3-2 edge. Reynolds took it from there. The sophomore cranked a 1-2 fastball over the outfield wall, increasing the lead to 5-2.
Michael Dziurgot worked a one-two-three bottom half to secure the Broncbusters eighth win of the season.
Burns started the game and allowed just one run on five hits over four innings. He struck out one and walked two. Renroe was hit with the loss for the Bronccos, giving up three runs in his one inning of relief.
Game two was much more of a struggle for Chris Finnegan's bunch.
Garden City jumped out to a 1-0 lead after Eskridge tripled and came across on Roberson's sacrifice fly. But that advantage did not stick. The Broncos tied the game in the fourth on McCoy Pearce's RBI single; then took the lead in the fifth when Williams hit a leadoff home run off of Noah Foreman. Vega followed with a two-out double that scored Pimentel and Turcotte to make it 4-1.
The Broncbusters slowly chipped away, getting a run back in the sixth on Clint Allen's RBI double and another in the seventh on Reynolds sac fly. Then, trailing 4-3 in the top of the ninth, Reynolds struck again, drilling a two-run homer to give Garden City a 5-4 lead.
Quinton Bonnell picked up the win in relief, getting Jose Velasco, Williams and Pimentel in order in the bottom of the ninth.
Foreman lasted 4.2 innings, yielding four runs on seven hits, including one home run for Garden City, who won for the ninth time in their last 10 games. Mitchell Savine, Ryder Yakel, Bonnell and Danny Weagle combined to allow just three hits and held the Broncos scoreless over the final four frames.
Turcotte took the loss for New Mexico Military, giving up two runs on four hits.