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2024 Great Bend Bat Cats schedule
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BY JIM MISUNAS
jmisunas@gbtribune.com

The 2024 Great Bend Bat Cats will mark their season debut at 6 p.m. Saturday against the Kansas Cannons at Al Burns Memorial Field.

The Bat Cats have placed fifth (2021, 2013), eighth (2019) and ninth (2017) at the NBC World Series, won by the Hutchinson Monarchs in 2023.

The Bat Cats will compete in the 9-team Sunflower Collegiate League.

“We’ve got talent, and I know our guys will play hard,” said Bat Cats coach Roger Ward. “We’ll be competitive. We’ll start out with a strong Kansas Cannons baseball team. Last year’s NBC champion the Hutchinson Monarchs and the Kansas Cannons will field strong baseball teams. The league will showcase good summer baseball.”

Ward has fielded a junior college-heavy roster dominated by players from Barton Community College and Oklahoma-Enid.

Great Bend’s Carson Umphres, Tyler Stuhlsatz and Chayse Gruber will represent their hometown for the Bat Cats.

“We’ve put together primarily a junior college roster,” Ward said. “I want to get back to the root of why we started our program. We’ve got junior college players who have a blue-collar work ethic.”

With a trio of lefties, the Bat Cats will feature a right-handed dominant pitching staff. Isaac Heredia, who throws in the low 90s, will headline the pitchers.

“You’ve got to pitch to get better, but we’ve got some guys who didn’t throw much in the spring,” Ward said. “We’ll piece our pitching together until we get everybody to town.”

Ward wants to mix speed and power in the batting lineup.

“Well mix the power with speed and a hit-and-run approach,” he said. “We’ll make things happen.”

GREAT BEND BAT CATS (5-1)

WKansas Cannons 6-3 (W Stuhlsatz 1-0)

W—Kansas Cannons 3-2 (W Sowell 1-0)

W—Newton Rebels 8-3 (W Volski 1-0)

W—Kingman Islanders 10-0 (W Horsman 1-0)

L—Kingman Islanders 4-5 (L Bougher 0-1)

W—Hutchinson Monarchs 8-4 (W Sowell 2-0)

6-11—at Hutchinson Monarchs

6-12—at Haysville Aviators

6-13—at Haysville Aviators

6-15—Wichita Dirtbags

6-16—at Wichita Dirtbags

6-17/18—Derby Twins

6-20—Junction City Brigade

6-22—Wichita Diamond Kings (2)

6-25—Kansas Cannons

6-26—at Augusta Kansas Cannons

6-27—Newton Rebels

6-29—at Newton Rebels

7-2—Great Bend Bombers

7-3—Kingman Islanders

7-4—at Kingman Islanders

7-5—Hutchinson Monarchs

7-6—at Hutchinson Monarchs

7-8—U.S. Military War Dogs

7-9/10—Haysville Aviators

7-11—Wichita Dirtbags

7-12—at Wichita Dirtbags

7-14/15—at Derby Panthers

7-17—Junction City Brigade

7-18—Liberal BeeJays

7-20—Diamond Kings (2)

7-21Jayhawk League Championship

7-25/8-3—NBC  World Series

GREAT BEND BAT CATS

1—Kade Goeke, IF, Okla.-Enid, Enid, Okla.

2—Kyle Walker, IF, Barton CC, Topeka

3—Carson Bougher, RHP, RHP, Marshalltown CC, Des Moines

4—Carson Lorch, IF, NE Texas CC, Haslet, Texas

6—Tiger Johnson, U/RHP, Hays High

7—Nolan Bushko, OF/RHP, NE Texas CC, Haslet, Texas

8—D.J. Cavazos, RHP, Fort Hays, Ballinger, Texas

9—Ian George, C/OF, Dakota CC, Apple Valley, Minn.

11—Tyler Stuhlsatz, OF/LHP, Barton CC, Great Bend

12—Jesse Ponce, IF, Okla.-Enid, Sachse, Texas

13—Joey Marker, IF, Marshalltown CC, Indianaola, Iowa

14—J.J. Rickert, RHP, NE Texas CC, Mansfield, Texas

15—Jhett Creel, Okla.-Enid, Wylie, Texas

16—Kyler Horsman, U/RHP, Barton CC, Manhattan

18—Jordan Tucker, Hutchinson CC, Detroit Lakes, Minn.

19—Parker Volski, LHP, Barton CC, Shawnee

20—Garrett Ninness, OF, Okla.-Enid, Oklahoma City

21—Anthony Capobianco, OF, NE Texas CC, San Antonio

22—Carson Umphres, OF/RHP, Great Bend

23Carson Sowell, LHP, LHP, Okla.-Enid, Garland, Texas

24—Cooper Smith, IB/LHP, Okla.-Enid, Marlow, Okla.

25—Andrew McCarty, RHP, Barton CC, Edgerton

26—Clark Scallon, RHP, NE Texas CC, Buda, Texas

27—Chayse Gruber, RHP, Neosho CC, Great Bend

28—Christian Anmann, OF/RHP, Coffeyille CC, Shawnee

32—Julio Heredia, RHP, Krugerville, Texas; Okla.-Enid