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Kansas City takes playoff opener from Garden City

Kansas City takes playoff opener from Garden City

By Tim Boulware

Kansas City, KS-The Garden City Community College Baseball team and Kansas City have a recent history playing each other in the Region VI tournament. Three years ago, the Blue Devils scored a 12-8 win over Garden City in Wichita. Last year Garden City ended KCK's season 7-2 behind Brendan Peitsmeyer's complete-game effort on the mound. 

In game one, despite all they have been through in post-season play over the last several years, the Blue Devils (39-18, 24-12) attempted to re-write history.

Kansas City scored nine unanswered runs and run ruled Garden City (33-23, 18-14) in eight innings 13-3, sending the Broncbusters to the brink of elimination in the best of three opening round in region VI.

It did not take long for KCK to grab the momentum.  The Blue Devils second batter of the game Tyler Pittman, clubbed his second homer of the season to left. The solo blast off Garden City right-handed starter Ryder Yakel (5-4) made it 1-0.

"Pittman's home run set the tone for them all day," Garden City Coach Chris Finnegan said. "If you have seen our attitude after he hit it (Pittman), it was like we were a bunch of beat puppy dogs."

Yakel allowed three, two-out RBI singles in the second when Pittman, Alex Phillips and Rorey Combs all knocked in runs, building up the lead to 4-0.

"The other thing that was very frustrating is we refused to pitch in today," Finnegan added. "All we did was sit on the outer half and they (KCK) were very comfortable."

Kansas City, leading 5-0 in the fifth, scored four more making it a 9-0 lead when Blue Devils shortstop Albert Woodard brought in two with a double to left-center, and a dropped fly ball from usually sure-handed Billy Clark in right would eventually lead to two more unearned runs.

Meanwhile Jacob Purl (8-2) was in control of the game, allowing just a one-out double to Broncbuster left fielder Clint Allen and a single to shortstop Ty Lightley in the fifth. 

Garden City eventually put a run on the board in the sixth on Allen's sacrifice fly. They would add two more in the seventh on a bases-loaded walk to Aeneas Roberson and Jesse Gonzales' sac fly.  The Broncbusters could have added more, but failed to produce the hit they needed when the were bases loaded. Cam Bednar came on in relief to get the final three outs. Purl ended the day giving up six hits and three earned runs, striking out six and walking three.

Brandon Green picked up the Blue Devil offense with a solo homer to left off Danny Weagle in the seventh making it 10-3. Two more would score when Woodard tripled and came in one batter later on Lightley's error at short and Combs two-out single. 

Down 12-3 in the eighth, A.J. Stephens issued a one-out walk to Joshua Schmacher, and Green followed with his second RBI, tripling to right center and bringing in the run that made it 13-3 in the eighth.

Kendrick Catron (4-4) goes to the mound for Garden City as the Broncbusters hope to force a decisive game three. Pre-game show is 12:45, first pitch is at 1pm. The game can be heard at or on the KWKR app.