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Bat Cats' Marker delivers crucial victory
SPLASHDOWN Bat Cat Joey Marker earns a victory celebration. - photo by Lori Farmer


Joey Marker's game-winning single triggered one of the wildest moments in Great Bend Bat Cats' baseball history. 

Marker's bases-loaded single off pitcher Garrett Folmar drove home Anthony Capobianco for a thrilling 3-2 win over the Hutchinson Monarchs, last year's NBC World Series champion. Marker from Indianola, Iowa was mobbed by happy teammates. Jhett Creel, Capobianco and Kyle Walker drew 10th-inning walks.

"Coach Ward pulled me over and I told him, 'I'm going to swing the bat well. I came out and got it down for the team," Marker said. "It cleared my mind when I talked with Roger. I knew it was down. I've never had this big of a walk-off."

The Bat Cats (15-8, 4-2 Jayhawk) pitched their best starter Chayse Gruber and all-star reliever Julio Heredia (0.00 ERA, 171/3 innings) for a 2-2 tie through 91/2 innings. Gruver and Heredia each struck out eight batters. The Monarchs batted 2-for-16 with runners on scoring position.

Heredia stranded Jaden Gustafson after a leadoff sixth-inning double. He stranded Sam Wiese at second base by striking out Zerick Warren and Austin Coyle in the ninth inning.

"The pitchers were amazing," Marker said. "We've got some big arms."

Bat Cat pitcher Andrew McCarthy relieved Heredia after back-to-back 10th-inning walks to Cooper Wesslund and the red-hot Gustafson. McCarthy struck out the 17th Monarch when Colin Cymbalista fanned on a 3-2 count to strand the bases loaded.

Hutchinson pitchers Jace Miner, Ian Lanning and Carson Cornelius matched the Bat Cats with 15 strikeouts.

Gruber threw four shutout innings after shaky defense led to a 2-run first inning. Gruber hit Brett Smajstria with a 2-strike pitch and Wesslund followed with a single. Left fielder Christian Ammann misplayed Gustafson's fly ball and Wesslund scored on Kyle Walker's error. Gruber responded with eight strikeouts over the next 41/2 innings.

Jesse Ponce walked and scored the Bat Cats' first-inning run on Cooper Smith's single. Ponce walked and scored a fifth-inning run on Jhett Creel's single. Monarch pitcher Ian Lanning escaped the bases-loaded jam on Ian George's double play groundball.

Hutchinson 200 000 000 0 – 2 6 2

GB Bat Cats 100 010 000 1 – 3 6 2

Miner, Lanning (5), Carson Cornelius (7), Folmar (10) and Warren. Gruber, Heredia (6), McCarthy (10) and George. W–McCarthy, 3-0. L–Fulmer. 2B–H–Gustafson, Wiese.



Derby Twins 6-1 19-7

Hutchinson Monarchs 6-2 17-7

Wichita Dirtbags 4-2 6-12

Kansas Cannons 5-3 18-8

GB Bat Cats 4-3 15-9

Kingman Islanders 2-3 8-12

Haysville Aviators 2-6 16-10

Newton Rebels 1-5 4-18

Diamond Kings 1-6 4-16

TUESDAY–Bat Cats 4, Bombers 0; Monarchs 3, Derby 2; Cannons 11, Diamond Kings 4

WEDNESDAY–Cannons 5, Diamond Kings 3

THURSDAY–Kingman 5, Bat Cats 3; Haysville 5, Dirtbags 4

FRIDAY–Bat Cats 3, Monarchs 2; Newton 11, Diamond Kings 5; Dirtbags 8, Haysville 4

SATURDAY–Monarchs 12, Bat Cats 3; Diamond Kings 6, Newton 4; Haysville 15, Kingman 1; Derby 7, Cannons 4

SUNDAY–Monarchs 6, Diamond Kings 5; Kingman 6, Haysville 5; Derby 5, Cannons 3

MONDAY–War Dogs at Bat Cats; Black Sox at Cannons; Monarchs at Newton

TUESDAY–Haysville at Bat Cats; Dirtbags at Derby; Monarchs at Cannons; Diamond Kings at Kingman

WEDNESDAY–Haysville at Bat Cats; Dirtbags at Derby; Newton at Monarchs; Kingman at Diamond Kings