By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bat Cats lose NBC World Series opener
2021 NBC World Series
kyle gates run


HUTCHINSON – The Great Bend Bat Cats are down to their ninth life.

Austin Lonestar (Texas) held off the Bat Cats' late rallies for a 7-5 opening victory in Wednesday's 2021 NBC Baseball World Series. Lonestar built a 7-1 lead before the Bat Cats staged their patented late-inning rallies.

The Bat Cats stranded the tying runner on second base in the eighth inning and Brady Michel made the game-ending out with Micah Grover on base. 

"Even when we didn't get anything done, we kept battling," said Great Bend coach Roger Ward. "We caught a few breaks and took advantage of them. We're going to hang in there. It means too much to them to quit." 

The Bat Cats (27-16) play Wichita 316 Elite at 3 p.m. Friday at Hobart-Detter Field. 316 Elite features Sedgwick County high school baseball players. Lonestar (20-1) plays the Seattle Studs in Friday's winners bracket. 

Lonestar broke a scoreless tie with a seven-run fifth inning when the Bat Cats' pitching faltered. 

Bat Cats starter Dawson Tourney (0-1) threw four scoreless innings before five consecutive batters reached base. Andrew Jackson and Max Puls delivered back-to-back two-run hits. Reliever Payton Tinkler uncorked a wild pitch as Puls scored. Reed Beverly drilled an RBI double and scored on Tinkler's second wild pitch for a 7-0 lead.

Justin Dunlap and Kam Kelton scored after drawing walks on 3/2 counts. Travis Chestnut and Puls delivered two-strike hits.

"We let one inning get away from us and put ourselves in a bad position," Ward said. "They got a couple of clutch hits. It's hard to come back down six runs. Had we limited it to four runs, it would've been a different contest."

The Bat Cats converted two Lonestar errors into five unearned runs. Jordan Maxson doubled and scored on a fifth-inning error against Lonestar starter Nathan Medrano who worked seven innings. Lonestar has permitted 44 runs in 21 summer games.

"Medrano is a good pitcher going to the University of Houston. We didn't get to him,' Ward said. 

Spinn and Maxson each delivered three hard-hit liners. Through seven innings, the Bat Cats saw four of their five baserunners thrown out on the bases. Spinn and Maxson hit into inning-ending line-drive double plays. Grover (fifth) and Gates (sixth) were tossed out on attempted steals.

Grover reached on an eighth-inning error that ignited a four-run eighth inning. Grover scored on a Kyle Gates double. Barton Cougar graduate Nolan Riley singled home Gates and Alex Rodgers. Rodgers scored on Lonestar's third error. Reliever Sebastian Mejia retired red-hot Maxson to strand tying runner Zane Spinn at second base.

Austin, Texas 000 070 000 – 7 9 3

GB Bat Cats 000 010 040 – 5 7 1

Medrano, Lee (8), Mejia (8), Engelmann (9) and Taylor. Tourney, Tinkler (5), Nedved (7), Lanik (9) and Bloomer. W–Medrano. L–Tourney, 0-1. 2B–GB–Maxson, Spinn, Gates; A–Beverly, Puls.



WEDNESDAY–G5–Cheney Diamond Dawgs 9, Boulder (Colo.) Collegians 4; G6–Derby Twins 5, Liberal Bee Jays 4; G7–Lonestar, Texas 7, Great Bend Bat Cats 5; G8–Seattle Studs 14, Wichita 316 Elite 0

THURSDAY–Wichita 316 Sluggers 11, Puerto Rico 1; G3–Hays Larks 16, Mid-Crest (Ill.) Pumas 8; G4–Hutchinson Monarchs 4, San Diego Stars 3; G1–Santa Barbara (Calif.) Foresters 14,  Waco (Texas) Sultanes 0

FRIDAY–G11–Liberal Bee Jays 11, Boulder (Colo.) Collegians 3; G12–Great Bend Bat Cats 13, Wichita 316 Sluggers 0; G15–Derby Twins (27-21) vs. Cheney Diamond Dawgs (28-17), 6 p.m.; G16–Lonestar, Texas (20-1) vs. Seattle Studs, 9 p.m.

SATURDAY–G9–Puerto Rico vs. Waco (Texas) Sultanes; G10–San Diego Stars (14-11) vs. Mid-Crest (Ill.) Pumas (12-30), 3 p.m.; G13–Santa Barbara (Calif.) Foresters (31-7) vs. Wichita 316 Sluggers (29-12), 9 p.m.; G14–Hutchinson Monarchs (32-11) vs. Hays Larks (30-6), 6 p.m.


G17–Winner G9 vs. loser G16

G18–Winner G10 vs. loser G15

G19–Liberal Bee Jays vs. loser G14

G20–Great Bend Bat Cats (28-16) vs. loser G13