By Mike Pilosof
Photo By Adam Shrimplin
Garden City, KS-There are always telltale signs that it's not going to be your day. For Garden City, plenty of them showed up in the first inning.
Cayde Ward smashed his seventh homer of the season, Seward County rocked Connery O'Donnell for six hits in the first (three of them were infield singles), and Seward County topped the Broncbusters 12-2 in a five-inning run-rule Sunday afternoon at Williams Stadium.
"I hate to say it, but we were garbage today," Garden City Head Coach Chris Finnegan said.
The first inning was a microcosm of the entire afternoon for the Broncbusters. After O'Donnell struck out Cruz Shope to begin the game, the freshman hurler allowed six straight hits, surrendering two early runs and working into a bases-loaded jam. O'Donnell got out of it by getting Joe Kuhn to fly out to right, but the tone had been set for the rest of the day.
"We just had no energy today," Finnegan said. "We didn't come ready to play."
More warning signs popped up in the Broncbuster first. Turner McDonald led off the inning with single but was thrown out trying to steal second. After Corbin Truslow reached on an error, Sean Klein and Dakota Finley struck out swinging.
"We really didn't do anything right in game one," Finnegan said. "And Connery just didn't have it."
O'Donnell gave up two more runs in the second, one of which was aided by a throwing error on Griffin Brunson at short. By the time the freshman righty was pulled after in the fifth, the numbers told a staggering story. He faced 26 batters and only threw first-pitch strikes to two of them. He allowed nine runs on 12 hits in one of his shortest outings of the season while tossing 102 pitches.
Garden City's one glimmer of hope came in the third. Jake barber doubled to left-center, and Truslow singled him home. But the offense failed to muster another hit in the frame. Klein Flied to out center, and Finley waived at a breaking ball for strike three.
Seward got the run back in their half of the fourth when KP Werner doubled to center, took third on a ground ball and came home on a passed ball to make it 5-1. Then the Saints went for the kill in the fifth. Zane Alexander singled home a run off of O'Donnell, Braxton Allen was hit by an Andrew Sumner curveball with the bases loaded, Shope produced a sacrifice fly, Werner singled home two, and Ward cranked a two-run home run to put the Saints up 12-1.
"The team that showed up in the first two games was the not the one that came out here today," Finnegan said.
The Broncbusters scratched their final run across in the fifth on McDonald's sac fly. But that was far from consolation on a day where Garden City mustered just five hits.
Chandler Poell tallied the win for Seward, allowing two runs on five hits in five innings. Werner, who was hitless in five out his previous seven games, collected a season-high three hits, Ward was 3-for-4 with three RBI, and Jose Caraballo collected two hits while making several great defensive plays at short.
O'Donnell dropped to 4-3 on the season, while Sumner pitched an inning of relief, surrendering three runs on two hits.