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Bat Cats' rally upsets Diamond Dawgs, 9-6
spt_hg_Dylan Blomquist.jpg
Great Bend Bat Cats Dylan Blomquist swings at a pitch on Friday at Al Burns Memorial Field in Great Bend.. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez

Bat Cats vs Diamond Dawgs 2021

Bat Cats vs Diamond Dawgs 2021.

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The 100th victory for the Great Bend Bat Cats was capped by the greatest rally in franchise history. The Bat Cats celebrated by shooting off postgame fireworks.

The Bat Cats' 2021 baseball season was on live support, trailing Sunflower Collegiate League powerhouse Cheney 5-1 while riding a five-game losing streak.

Sometimes, miracles happen.

The Bat Cats (11-9) pulled off an improbable comeback, rallying for six runs in the eighth inning for a shocking 9-6 victory over the Diamond Dawgs, the NBC World Series runner-up the past two years.

The Bat Cats trailed 5-3 when Zane Spinn and Jett Forrest delivered two-run doubles to key the six-run inning at Al Burns Memorial Field. 

Junior Torres was hit by a pitch and Dylan Blomquist beat out an infield single to start the inning. Alex Rodgers walked to load the bases with two out off Cheney reliever Dakota Rodd (2-1).

What happened next was hard to believe against the Sunflower League leader (18-7) which features nine all-stars. 

Noah Best's hustling infield single drove home pinch runner Kyle Gates. Blomquist scored on a wild pitch for a 5-5 tie. Spinn's double scored Rodgers and Best. A Forrest double scored Spinn and Nico Baumbach for a 9-5 lead.

Cheney's Matt Bond singled home Enzo Bonventre in the second inning for a 1-0 lead. 

Six consecutive Diamond Dawgs reached base in a three-run third inning for a 4-0 lead. Mason King singled and George Specht doubled. Both runners scored when shortstop Zane Spinn threw the ball past catcher on Len Ashby's groundball. Ashby scored on Bonventre's single. Starter Ethan Thomas miraculously pitched out of the bases-loaded jam. Matt Bond hit a pop fly. Bat Cat shortstop Spinn atoned for his error by turning Campbell Sullivan's groundball into an inning-ending double play.

Baumbach's third-inning single scored Rodgers. Cheney's Mason King singled home Ed Scott for a 5-1 lead.

Bat Cats' reliever David Blackburn (1-1) saved the game with five solid innings.

"I wanted to get weak contact and let our defense work," Blackburn said in postgame radio interview. "They made it look easy. We've been in a slump, but we were confident. We came in today like we were the better team."

Rodgers reached base four times and scored twice after walks.

"You have to keep fighting and do whatever it takes," Rodgers said. "You've got to say enough is enough. You find a way to get to first base. "

Cheney starter Cayden Castellanos gift wrapped a two-run sixth inning with three walks. Blomquist singled home Brett Freiberg and Junior Torres on a close play when catcher Matt  Bond dropped the throw for a 5-3 score.

Diamond Dawgs 013 010 001 — 6 12 0 

Bat Cats 001 002 060 — 9 11 2

Castellenos, Rodd (7) and Bond. Thomas, Blackburn (5) and Forrest. W—Blackburn, 1-1. L—Rodd, 2-1. 2B—GB—Spinn, Forrest; C—Specht.