BY JIM MISUNAS
DERBY – Great Bend's Tyler Henry rescued the Bat Cats with a decisive grand slam homer to spark a 8-2 Sunflower Collegiate League baseball victory over the Derby Twins Sunday. The Twins won the opener 6-1.
The Bat Cats (20-12, 18-12 SCL) start a six-game homestand Tuesday against the Newton Rebels at Al Burns Memorial Field.
BAT CATS 8, TWINS 2 (G2) – Henry capped a six-run first inning with a grand slam homer off starter Ryan Rissas (0-1), who walked five consecutive batters. Great Bend ace pitcher Jake Kuntzendorf (5-1, 2.23 ERA) struck out three batters and yielded one hit.
Micah Grover, Zane Spinn, J.D. Ortiz, Jett Forrest and Brett Freiberg walked to start the game before Henry ended Rissas' day. The Bat Cats added two fourth-inning insurance runs. Kyle Gates scored on a Noah Best groundball. Spinn doubled home Best for an 8-1 lead.
Freiberg singled and reached base three times on walks.
Derby's Derrick Winn scored on a third-inning wild pitch. Steve Saunders homered in the sixth inning off reliever David Blackburn.
TWINS 6, BAT CATS 1 (G1) – Spinn delivered the Bat Cats' lone hit with a second-inning double off crafty Derby pitcher Jacob Lindemann (4-1), who struck out six batters. Spinn scored when Brett Freiberg's groundball was misplayed.
Derby's Saunders ripped a two-run homer off hard-luck Bat Cats pitcher Gyeongju Kim (2-3, 3.46 ERA). The Bat Cats have scored one run in three of Kim's outings.
Saunders raced home on a fourth-inning double steal. David Silva scored on Winn's sacrifice fly and Nick Lopez scored on a fifth-inning wild pitch. Kirk Wolf's single scored Chuck Ingram in the sixth inning.
Bat Cats 010 000 0 – 1 1 0
Twins 000 000 x – 6 8 2
Kim, Tinkler (5) and Forrest. Lindemann and Baker. W–Lindemann, 4-1. L–Kim, 2-3. 2B–GB–Spinn; D–Saunders. HR–D–Saunders.
Bat Cats 600 200 0 – 8 7 1
Twins 001 001 0 – 2 4 0
Kuntzendorf, Thornton (6) and Forrest. Rissas, Shepherd (1), Farmer (5), Murphy Bostick (7) and Baker. W–Kuntzendorf 5-1. L–Rissas, 0-1. 2B–GB–Gates, Spinn. HR–GB–Henry; D–Saunders.