BY JIM MISUNAS
In a showdown dominated by pitching, Kansas Cannon Christian Hoffman delivered the game-deciding 3-run double that beat the Great Bend Bat Cats 5-3 Saturday at Al Burns Memorial Field.
Hoffman's double off reliever Bryan Bartles scored Cale Blasi, Rocco Gump and Ty Noland with the game tying and winning runs.
The Bat Cats batted 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Jace Wentling’s RBI single that scored Matthew Mendez produced the Bat Cats’ lone hit with a runner at second base.
Great Bend’s two opportunities in the late innings ended with hard-hit line-drive double plays struck by Connor Chavez in the seventh inning and Grant Nottlemann in the eighth inning. Wentling was doubled off base in the seventh. Roberson was doubled off first base in the eighth.
The Bat Cats (14-3) maintain a 2-game lead on the Cannons (11-4) in the Sunflower Collegiate Baseball League.
Bat Cats starter David Stuart threw no-hit baseball for five innings. Cannon starter John Stacy also pitched brilliantly.
Hoffman scored a fifth-inning run on a Stuart wild pitch. Mason Wray singled home Ethan Rone in the seventh inning after Rone advanced to second base on Jake Tatom’s throwing error.
The Bat Cats converted two Cannon errors into a 3-run seventh inning. Nottlemann walked and Jackson Webster reached on an error. Nottlemann and Webster both scored on another Cannon error a perfect bunt by Mendez. Wentling singled home Mendez for a brief 3-2 lead.
Blasi and Gump singled to start the eighth inning and Noland walked to load the bases against Bartles. Hoffman crushed a baseball to right field to score all three runners.
Cannons 000 010 130 — 5 6 2
GB Bat Cats 000 000 300 — 3 6 0
Stacy, Shaults (6) and Wray. Stuart, Howell (6), Bartles (8) and Nottlemann. W—Shaults. L—Bartles, 0-1. 2B—KC—Hoffman.
Great Bend Bat Cats 14-3
Kansas Cannons 11-4
Derby Twins 8-6
Haysville Aviators 5-7
Hutchinson Monarchs 5-9
Newton Rebels 4-8
Kingman Islanders 2-12
6-26—Bat Cats at Dodge City; Cannons at Aviators; Islanders at Monarchs; Derby at Newton
6-25—Derby at Dodge City
6-24—Cannons 5, Bat Cats 3; Rebels 5, Monarchs 4; Aviators at Twins; Wellington at Islanders
6-23—Bat Cats 13, Bat Cats 4; Monarchs 10, Newton 6; Twins 7, Aviators 3; Islanders 10, Kansas Curve 6
6-22—Bat Cats 12, Cannons 4; Twins 5, Aviators 2