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Pitcher Bushko sparks Bat Cats' shutout
Reliever Heredia has 39 strikeouts in 20.1 innings
Spt_LF_ Nolan BushkoDSC_29681 .jpg
Bat Cats pitcher Nolan Bushko throws seven shutout innings. - photo by Lori Farmer


Great Bend Bat Cats pitcher Nolan Bushko (Haslet, Texas) started a 9-inning gem that shut out the Haysville Aviators 9-0 in Wednesday's Jayhawk Collegiate baseball showdown. 

It was simply the Bat Cats' best baseball game of the summer.

Bushko (3-2, 6.26 ERA) atoned for an early-season shellacking (9 earned runs) against the Aviators with seven shutout innings with five strikeouts. Bushko pitched around two baserunners in three innings.

"Haysville roughed me up earlier this year. I wanted to get my revenge," Bushko said. "That first inning my goal was to put up a zero. That set the tempo for the rest of the game." 

Shortstop Jesse Ponce performed brilliantly by turning a trio of double-play groundballs in the second, sixth and eighth innings. Second baseman Joey Marker assisted on two twin killings. Catcher Jhett Creel threw out Brock Lukewicz on an attempted steal.

"That's the longest I've pitched because I'm usually pitching out of the bullpen," he said.

Relievers Carson Bougher and Julio Heredia (20.1 IP, 0.00 ERA) preserved the shutout with two scoreless innings. Heredia has 39 strikeouts in 20.1 innings in 11 appearances.

Red-hot Kyler Horsman scored four runs and drove in two runs with two singles. Horsman reached base 9 of 10 times in the 2-game series. Tyler Stuhlsatz debuted at the plate with two hits and three RBIs. Ponce pounded out four singles.

Ponce scored on Horsman's first inning single. Horsman scored on Stuhlsatz's fourth-inning single. Stuhlsatz singled in Horsman and Anthony Copabianco and Marker singled home Stuhlsatz in a 3-run sixth. Horsman and Creel scored on Capobianco's double and Creel singled in Smith in the seventh. Creel singled in Horsman in the eighth inning. 

DIRTBAGS 12, BAT CATS 7 (THURSDAY) –  Bat Cats reliever Parker Volksi yielded eight runs in a failed effort to preserve pitching in a busy week. The Bat Cats were tied 2-2 when Volski was rocked for eight runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

The Bat Cats (17-11, 5-5 Jayhawk) travel to Derby Sunday and Monday.

Dirtbag pitcher Jorge Rijo (1-1) yielded two runs in seven innings. Bat Cats starter Chayse Gruber was effective yielding two runs in five innings.

The Dirtbags' 7-8-9 hitters delivered 11 hits, six runs scored and five RBIs. James Gardera drove in three runs and Noah Fields each drove in two runs. James McCarty, Dan Craig and Parker Ryan also drove in runs. Shugo Konda delivered four hits.

Great Bend's offense was stifled by double plays in the fifth, sixth and seven innings.

Christian Ammann singled home Horsman in the second inning. Capobianco scored on Joey Marker's fourth-inning groundout. Creel scored on an error and Capobianco hit an eighth-inning sacrifice fly.

Cooper Smith's singled in Marker and Ponce in a 3-run ninth inning. Creel scored on Horsman's groundout for a 12-7 final.

Dirtbags 001 100 541 – 12 17 4

GB Bat Cats 010 100 023 – 7 10 1

Gruber, Volski (6), Kaiser (8) and George. L–Volski. 2B–D–Acosta, Konda, Gardera, Fields, Plummer.  

Haysville 000 000 000 – 0 6 1

GB Bat Cats 100 103 31x – 9 15 2

Leyboldt, Runnels (6), Yun-Hsiang (7) and Horn. Bushko, Bougher (8), Heredia (9) and Creel. W–Bushko, 3-2. L–Leyboldt, 2-1. 2B–GB–Marker, Creel, Capobianco; H–Lukewicz.



Hutchinson Monarchs 10-2 21-7

Wichita Dirtbags 6-2 8-12

Derby Twins 6-3 19-9

Kansas Cannons 6-4 19-9

GB Bat Cats 5-5 17-11

Kingman Islanders 3-3 9-12

Haysville Aviators 3-7 17-11

Diamond Kings 1-7 4-17

Newton Rebels 1-8 4-21

MONDAY–Bat Cats 13, War Dogs 1; Monarchs 8, Newton 6

TUESDAY–Haysville 10, Bat Cats 6; Dirtbags 10, Derby 1; Monarchs 3, Cannons 1

WEDNESDAY–Bat Cats 9, Haysville 0; Dirtbags at Derby; Monarchs 15, Newton 2; Kingman def. Diamond Kings

THURSDAY–Dirtbags 12, Bat Cats 7; Monarchs 7, Derby 5; Cannons 4, Newton 3

FRIDAY–Dirtbags 8, Bat Cats 7; Diamond Kings at Monarchs; Newton at Cannons; Derby at Kingman

SATURDAY–Diamond Kings at Monarchs; Derby at Kingman

Bat Cats’ bullpen implodes

WICHITA – The Bat Cats’ 1-run lead wasn’t enough. A 2-run lead wasn’t enough either.

The Wichita Dirtbags continued its dominance over the Bat Cats with a wild 8-7 victory Friday, twice rallying for the tying run and eventually the game-winner.

Chase Cretti’s 2-run double off reliever Carson Bougher scored Miles Hartman and Mikey Acosta with the tying and winning runs. The Dirtbags sweep the Bat Cats 4-0.

Bat Cats Anthony Capobianco and Joey Marker delivered RBI 11th-inning singles for a 7-5 lead.

Bougher was one out away after Acosta’s fielder’s choice scored Aiden Martinez. But the Dirtbags celebrated by mobbing Cretti.

Great Bend led 6-5 on Kyler Horsman’s RBI single that scored Garrett Ninness. Capobianco stopped the rally with a groundball double play. Hartman scored on Parker Ryan’s 10th-inning sacrifice fly for a 5-5 tie.

GB Bat Cats 012 100 000 12 – 7 10 2

Dirtbags 000 013 000 13 – 8 9 1

2B—D—Martinez 2, Cretti, Craig, Cohens. 3B—GB—Ponce.