BY JIM MISUNAS
DODGE CITY — The Great Bend Bat Cats won’t return to the NBC World Series.
They did the next best thing – they crushed NBC qualifier Dodge City 16-2 Tuesday for a Jayhawk League baseball victory that ruined the A’s home finale.
The Bat Cats (12-23) have beaten NBC qualifiers Hays, Liberal and Dodge City in four of their last five games. The Bat Cats ended their 2018 summer with a rainout Wednesday at Al Burns Memorial Field versus the A’s.
Bat Cats starter Austin Oblas dominated the A’s with six strikeouts and no hits in six innings. Jordan Vujovich singled off reliever Trey Boren for the A’s first hit.
Chris Swanberg doubled twice and drove home three runs with five hits. Austin McNicholas delivered four hits. Reece Johnson capped a seven-run eighth inning with a three-run homer.
Great Bend broke open the game with a crazy eight-run sixth inning.
Andrew Schatz forced home Hunter Romero with a hit by pitch. Thomas Alexander singled home Chris Swanberg. Blaine Ray and Schatz scored on a Dodge City error.
Alexander scored on Reece Alexander’s sacrifice fly. Austin McNicholas singled home Brendan Madsen. Gavin Johnson doubled home McNicholas. Swanberg’s double scored Gavin Johnson for an 8-1 lead.
Swanberg’s eighth-inning double scored McNicholas and Gavin Johnson to ignite a four-run inning. Romero scored on a groundout. Swanberg scored on an error for a 12-1 lead. Reece Johnson followed with a three-run homer.
The frustration of losing back-to-back games boiled up when two Dodge City coaches and a player were ejected.
GB 000 008 071 – 16 19 3
Dodge 001 000 010 – 2 2 2
Oblas, Boren (7) and Andrew Schatz. White, Shaw (5), Gonzalez (7), Noel (9) and Opitz. W—Oblas. L—White. 2B—GB—Swanberg 2, Gavin Johnson, Romero. HR—GB—Reece Johnson.