By Mike Pilosof
Photo by Adam Shrimplin
Dodge City, KS-After digging themselves out of an eight-run hole to win game three, Garden City made sure the series finale was decided in much more convincing fashion.
Jacob Douglas picked up his second win of the day, Sean Klein tied a season high with three hits and knocked in four runs, and Garden City polished off their first series victory of the season with a 16-6, eight-inning run-rule win over Dodge City Sunday night at Cavalier Field.
"It feels good," Finnegan said. "Somehow, we found a way to take three out of four against these guys. And make no mistake, Dodge City has some really good pitching."
But before they raced to the finish line, Garden City again found themselves playing from behind.
Dodge City tagged starter Malachi Crone for a run in the first on Cameron Fritz's sacrifice fly. They made it 2-0 in the second when Trey Vasquez singled home a run with two outs.
But Garden City was not down for long. In their half of the second, Griffin Brunson and Colin Stone both walked to begin the frame. Dyan Rodriguez followed with an RBI single, and, after Jake Barber popped out to pitcher Jony McIntyre on a bunt attempt, Turner McDonald singled home two, putting the Broncbusters up 3-2.
"Game one, game three and game four were very similar as far as Dodge City pitchers," Finnegan said. "They were heavy-heavy on the changeup, you're going to go through quick innings; especially when the changeup is good."
Garden City got a heavy dose of the off-speed stuff, but credit the Broncbusters for adjusting on the fly. And once Dodge City tied the game in the third, Garden City took the lead in the bottom of the frame when Rodriguez pounded a McIntyre change into right for an RBI single. They added another in the fourth on Corbin Truslow's run-scoring groundout.
"Our aggression really kicked in towards the end of game one today," Finnegan said. "That's when guys started going first to third."
Trailing by two, Dodge City had the answer in the fifth. Spencer Marcus singled, and Ryan Dos Santos struck out swinging before the ball skipped away from Stone, allowing Dos Santos to reach. As the inning continued, Ethan Bergkamp made the Broncbusters pay, powering a game-tying, two-run double to left, knotting the score 5-5.
From that point on, Finnegan's whole idea was to regain the lead and get the ball to Douglas. His team answered the bell.
Miguel Ramos worked a 1-2-3 sixth to keep the game tied. Then in the bottom of the inning, Jake Barber walked, and eventually made his way to third. With Sean Klein at the plate, Bergkamp failed to smother reliever Tyler Whalen's breaking ball, allowing Barber to score the go-ahead run.
Dodge City tied the game once more in the seventh. Jordan Yates allowed the first to men to reach before Finnegan went back to Douglas. Ryan Dos Santos stayed out of a double play, which extended the inning for Bergkamp, who hit a long fly ball to centerfield that Barber tracked down while slamming into the fence. Spencer Marcus trotted home from third to make it 6-6, but the freshman's outstanding defensive play saved an extra base hit.
The floodgates opened the next time Garden City was at the plate.
In the Broncbuters' seventh, Garden City loaded the bases with one out. With Barber at the dish, Evan Nichols' curveball spun past Bergkamp, allowing Brunson to sprint home from third to put the road squad up 7-6. McDonald added a sac fly, Klein singled home two, and Garden city was in front 10-6. An inning later, the Broncbusters finished off the run rule, scoring six, spearheaded by Klein's two-run double that ended the game.
Douglas picked up his fifth win of the season, holding Dodge City without a hit in two innings. McDonald drove in a season-high four runs, and Finley extended his hitting streak to five games.
Whalen took the loss for Dodge City, giving up four earned runs on 10 hits in five innings. He threw 102 pitches.
Next up: Garden City at Lamar-Tuesday, March 19-2 p.m. CDT