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Bat Cats suspend Jayhawk League games
Great Bend Tribune


The Great Bend Bat Cats baseball team have survived multiple league and schedule changes in seven topsy-turvy seasons.

However, Roger Ward’s ‘Dream Team’ is facing its biggest challenge from Mother Nature Sunday.

Ward announced Monday the Bat Cats have suspended baseball operations until further notice because of damage to vehicles and property inflicted by Sunday’s destructive thunderstorm. 

Windows in vehicles owned by players and coaches were blown out. Host families were without power and their homes sustained property damage.

“We are sad to announce that the Bat Cats will not play the remainder of their league season,” said Ward, the Bat Cats general manager. “While we are a minuscule part of the destructive storm, we are facing our own challenges. The main concern is we have players in our community from all over. Most of their vehicles are wiped out. Many families they are staying with are still without power Monday. As a result, many players are going home at the wishes of their families to try and get matters resolved.”

The Bat Cats (26-10, 21-7 Jayhawk League) will bypass its final eight Jayhawk League games after earning a 2023 NBC World Series berth.

Al Burns Memorial Field will take time to assess damage and pick up debris.

“We are having a great season. This is a big hit to what we work for year round,” Ward said. “. It’ll take time to get the field/facility playable. Great Bend, and the Bat Cats organization, hopes that everyone is safe and getting through whatever obstacles they may face. Our thoughts are with you.”

Ward believes a core group of players will return prior to the NBC World Series Aug. 3-12 at Wichita State's Eck Stadium.

“We are hopeful that players will come back and play a few games at home prior to postseason,” Ward said. “We hope that we can somehow finish our season.”

Jon Mariani