BY JIM MISUNAS
Great Bend Bat Cat fans knew it was going to be a wild night when “Jason Ward” sang an impromptu national anthem when the recording failed.
Roger Ward's brother delivered. The Bat Cats were truly inspired by Ward's gutsy performance.
The Bat Cats nearly pulled off a defensive miracle when it appeared they’d deliver a triple play on Brady Kreutzer’s diving catch in left field. Neither Tyson Drake or Will Dixon tagged up, but only Drake was called out from leaving third base without tagging up.
Bat Cat Jase Woita (Kansas City CC) led the offensive power with three hits and five RBIs to spark a 13-4 rout over the second-place Kansas Cannons in Friday’s Sunflower Collegiate League showdown.
Leadoff hitter Robby Bolin (.348) reached base five times, scored four runs and drove home two runs.
The Bat Cats (14-2 Sunflower) lead the Kansas Cannons (10-4) by three games by sweeping the first two games. Saturday’s game starts at 6 p.m.
The Bat Cats’ scoreless relief streak stopped at 16 innings. But no worries. Tyrus Riley and Kevin Schoneboom started up a new streak with 41/3 scoreless innings.
Woita delivered a 2-run single and Grant Nottlemann and Matthew Mendez added first-inning RBIs for a 4-0 lead.
Cannon Drake hit a 2-run single, but the Bat Cats answered with RBIS by Bolin and Jake Tatom for a 6-2 lead. Carsen Pracht hit a sacrifice fly Owen Clyne scored a run for the Cannons.
Great Bend scored the game’s final seven runs. Bolin scored on a wild pitch and Woita delivered an epic RBI after fouling off multiple sixth-inning pitches for an 8-4 lead.
Great Bend put the game away with a 5-run seventh. Woita drove home two runs and Connor Chavez, Bolin and Brady Wilson added RBIs for a 13-4 final.
Cannons 000 220 000 – 4 7 2
GB Bat Cats 400 202 50x – 13 16 1
Bartlett, Rone (6) and Bailey. Brett Allen, Austin (5), Riley (5), Schoneboom (8) and Nottlemann. W—Riley, 2-0. L—Bartlett. 2B—GB—Mendez, Woita, Chavez. 3B—GB—Bolin.
Great Bend Bat Cats 14-2
Kansas Cannons 10-4
Derby Twins 8-6
Haysville Aviators 5-7
Hutchinson Monarchs 5-8
Newton Rebels 3-8
Kingman Islanders 2-12
6-22—Bat Cats 12, Cannons 4; Twins 5, Aviators 2
6-23—Cannons 13, Bat Cats 4; Monarchs 10, Newton 6; Twins 7, Aviators 3; Islanders 14, Kansas Curve 6
6-24—Cannons at Bat Cats; Monarchs at Newton 2; Aviators at Twins; Wellington at Islanders