Bombers' offense stalls, falls to Ulysses


By Brett Cady

By Brett Cady

It's a cliche, but sometimes it's just this simple — a team has to score to win baseball games.

The Garden City Bombers learned that lesson yet again on Sunday as they lost to the Ulysses Tigers, 4-0, in their chase for the third-place trophy in the 16-and-under division of the 26th annual Jim Clanton Memorial Baseball Tournament.

According to Bomber head coach Travis Brunson, failure to score a large amount of runs — or any — has been a problem ailing the Bombers throughout the 13 games they have played so far.

"We just have to start getting the bat on the ball," Brunson said. "I'm proud of what they're doing. They've just got to get the sticks going. It's about staying positive at the plate, staying focused, just putting the ball in play. Let the other team make the errors, make the mistakes."

During Saturday's games, the Bombers lost a 10-inning game, 3-0, and then a later game in which they won, 4-0.

Their game against the Tigers was not dissimilar.

The game began quickly with Tiger pitcher Mason Chavez walking Griff Brunson and then allowing a hit from Eric Heiman, but a quick ground ball double play erased both Brunson and Heiman.

Then, Ray Urrutia was thrown out on an attempt to steal second, and the Bombers' early threat was stymied.

Heiman, the Bombers' starting pitcher allowed one run in the bottom of the first, on Diego Maracillo's single that scored Rigo Martinez from second.

Heiman allowed another run in the bottom of the second after the Bombers were held scoreless again in their half, giving Ulysses the early 2-0 lead.

According to Heiman, it took some time to warm up and calm his nerves before getting into the groove of things.

"Just getting nervous before the game," Heiman, a soon-to-be sophomore at Garden City High School, said. "I just wanted to go throw some strikes. Just the way I throw — throwing sidearm — is pretty difficult."

Throughout the course of the game, Heiman managed to strike out four Tigers in seven innings. Tiger pitcher Mason Chavez managed five in his six innings of work to pick up the win for the Tigers, with Martinez taking to the mound in the seventh inning to strike out three Bombers and allowing one hit.

"My pitchers have pitched well," coach Brunson said. "I mean, they've been on target — they've been doing their job. Couple fundamental errors here and there — we gave up a few runs here and there — but we're not giving up 10 runs. We're giving up four runs and we're losing."

The next three innings went scoreless with little drama. There were numerous pop flies and line drives caught immediately by both teams, and lots of tough pitching from both Heiman and Chavez.

"I found out where each one of them wanted the pitch, and where they were driving, but a couple times they got a hold of it," Heiman said.

Another Bombers' would-be rally, in the top of the fourth, was thwarted when Syrus Schwartz got stuck in a rundown between second and third base on an attempt to steal. He was eventually tagged out by the Tiger second baseman.

Ulysses added two more in the bottom of the sixth for the final margin, as the Bombers could never scratch across a run.

"I'm real proud of them," Brunson said. "We're right there. We've just gotta get some more baseball games played."

The Bombers will be taking this weekend off, but will be playing a wooden bat tournament in Hutchinson July 11 to 13.


Garden City 000 000 0 -- 0

Ulysses 110 002 -- 4

Heiman and Rowland. Chavez, Martinez(7) and Montoya. W--Chavez. L--Heiman. 2B--Garden City, Ortega.

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