BY JIM MISUNAS
The Great Bend Bat Cats were two outs away from losing to the worst team in the Sunflower Collegiate League.
But Tyler Henry's clutch double tied the Sunflower Seeds 4-4 and Collin Meinert's game-winning single triggered an impromptu celebration in a thrilling 5-4 extra-inning baseball victory Friday night.
One night after scoring 23 runs, the Bat Cats struggled all night at the plate. Meinert delivered a two-run single after Alex Rodgers reached base after a strikeout, which should've been the third out.
The Seeds led 1-0 when Colby Farmer scored on a third-inning wild pitch after a hit batter and stolen base. Meinert's third-inning hit scored Mitch Carnahan and Alex Rodgers for a 2-1 lead. Alex Epp scored on a fourth-inning error for a 2-2 tie.
The Seeds led 4-2 when Farmer drilled a homer and Dylan Phillips drove home Cooper Elliot with a sacrifice fly after a fifth-inning triple. Bat Cat Seth Kenagy scored the Chiefs' third unearned run on a two-out sixth inning error for a 4-3 score.
Bat Cat relievers Hunter Murray, Adam Peters and Grant Thompson shut out the Seeds for five innings to give Great Bend a chance to rally.
Sunflower starter Colin Sells from Ohio University yielded no earned runs through eight innings. Sells was replaced after Touchet walked to start the ninth inning. Henry doubled home Touchet off reliever Adam Birch for a 4-4 tie.
The Seeds handed the Bat Cats the victory when Seth Kenagy walked and Alex Rodgers reached base on a 10th-inning error. Meinert's single off reliever Alex Epp ended the 10-inning affair.
The Bat Cats (7-6, 6-4 Sunflower) play at Cheney Saturday and return home Sunday to play the Sunflower Seeds.
Seeds 001 120 000 0 – 4 4 2
Bat Cats 002 001 001 1 – 5 8 2
Sells, Birch (9),Woodburn (9),Epp (10) and Farmer. Zerr, Murray (6), Peters (8), Grant Thompson (10) and Touchet. W—G. Thompson. L–Epp. 2B—BC—Henry; 3B—Seeds—Elliot. HR—Seeds—Farmer.
SUNFLOWER COLLEGIATE LEAGUE
Cheney Diamond Dawgs 10-0 12-0
Hutchinson Monarchs 5-0 7-0
Rose Hill Sluggers 6-2 6-2
Great Bend Bat Cats 6-4 7-6
Mulvane Patriots 4-6 4-6
Newton Rebels 3-6 4-6
Derby Twins 3-7 3-7
Haysville Aviators 1-5 3-8
Sunflower Seeds 1-9 1-9
6-25–Bat Cats 23, Cheney Seeds 8; Cheney 9, Mulvane 0; Derby 11, Newton 1; Hutchinson 12, Haysville 3; Aeros at Sluggers
6-26–Bat Cats 5, Seeds 4; Cheney 14, Mulvane 0; Derby 10, Newton 9; Hutchinson 8, Haysville 7; Flax at Sluggers
6-27–Bat Cats at Seeds; Cheney at Mulvane; Newton at Derby; Hutchinson at Haysville
6-28–Seeds at Bat Cats; Mulvane at Cheney; Derby at Newton; Hutchinson at Haysville; Vipers at Sluggers