Buffs baseball split in Great bend
By BRETT MARSHALL
By BRETT MARSHALL
The Garden City High School baseball team got a strong combined pitching effort from Mario Montoya and Devan Acker to lead the Buffs to a 10-6 Game 2 victory over Great Bend on Tuesday in the season-opening Western Athletic Conference games at Great Bend.
In the opener, the Buffs couldn't solve Great Bend pitching ace Bryce Beck, who limited them to just four hits in an 8-1 Panther victory.
Ivan Gutierrez, who pitched the first four innings of the opener, was saddled with the loss, while Daniel Flores came in to relieve him in the fifth and gave up just three hits and one run.
The Buffs erupted for six runs in the third inning of the nightcap and rode that to their first win. Great Bend had taken a 2-0 lead in the first and Garden came back with a single tally in the second.
The Panthers chipped away at the 7-2 lead by scoring twice in the third and adding single runs in the fourth and sixth innings to close to within 7-6. A three-run seventh provided insurance as Acker picked up the save.
The Buffs managed six hits off Great Bend pitching, including multiple hits by Thomas Solorio, Marcus Zapata and Emilio Parr.
"We swung the bats the best we have in a while," said GCHS coach Bill Wilson. "We just kind of snowballed in our third inning (six runs) and held them off. Our pitching wasn't too bad either, and we're gonna have to do this to limit our guys to 70 pitches so they can come back in a few days and be ready to throw again."
Wilson said he was happy to get the split as his goal is to at least win half the road games, and then don't lose at home.
"It's a good start, and the kids are very excited," Wilson said. "They've got good enthusiasm and the things we've been working on, they've been putting into play. We've got lots of room for improvement, but the kids battled today."
The Buffs will hit the road for a 4 p.m. Friday doubleheader at state-ranked Wichita Heights. Their home opener will be Tuesday against Thomas-More Prep, with the first pitch coming at 4 p.m. at the renovated Clint Lightner Stadium.
Garden City 000 001 0 -- 1 4 4
Great Bend 311 111 x -- 8 10 1
WP--Beck; LP--Gutierrez, Flores (5).
Garden City 016 000 3 -- 10 6 5
Great Bend 202 101 0 -- 6 7 3
WP--Montoya, Acker (4); LP--Hall.