BY JIM MISUNAS
Great Bend Bat Cat Trent Touchet made sure coach Roger Ward celebrated a happy birthday.
Touchet drilled the go-ahead three-run home run to rally the Bat Cats to a hard-fought 6-4 Sunflower Collegiate League baseball victory. The Bat Cats (15-18, 14-16 Sunflower) were losing 2-1 when they rallied in a five-run eighth inning at Al Burns Field.
Bat Cat starter Zach Curry pitched six shutout innings. Bat Cat Chandler Bloomer scored on Chance Ragsdale's second-inning single for a 1-0 lead. Newton's Jack Sigrist doubled home Andrew Brautman and Sam Kissane for a 2-1 lead after seven innings off reliever Ryan Peters.
Jake Baker walked and Brady Michel singled to set up Touchet's blast against reliever Chandler Henkelman for a shocking 4-3 lead. Tyler Henry was hit by a pitch and Chandler Bloomer and Seth Kenagy walked to load the bases. Leadoff hitter Alex Rodgers delivered a two-run single off reliever Zach Gillig for a 6-3 lead.
Of course, no lead is safe with the Bat Cats' bullpen.
Newton's Sigrist singled home Erik Garza and the Rebels loaded the bases against reliever Marty Carnahan in the ninth inning. Carnahan reached back and struck out Lincoln Andrews and Roger Viloria to celebrate Ward's birthday in the best way possible.
The Bat Cats return to Newton Thursday night.
BAT CATS 6, REBELS 4
Newton 000 000 211 – 4 7 1
Bat Cats 010 000 05x – 6 8 0
Bravo, Henkelman (7), Gillig (8) and Ouchi. Curry, Peters (6), Marty Carnahan (8) and Bloomer.. W–M. Carnahn. L–Henkelman. 2B–BC–Bloomer, Kenagy, Baker; N–Sigrist, Andrews, Kisaane. HR–BC–Touchet.
SUNFLOWER COLLEGIATE LEAGUE
Cheney Diamond Dawgs 23-4 29-4
Hutchinson Monarchs 22-5 24-5
Rose Hill Sluggers 20-6 23-7
Great Bend Bat Cats 14-16 15-18
Derby Twins 11-16 11-17
Newton Rebels 9-17 12-18
Mulvane Patriots 9-17 11-17
Haysville Aviators 5-18 7-21
Sunflower Seeds 5-19 5-19
7-20–Bat Cats 9, Newton 6; Hutchinson 5, Cheney 2; Rose Hill 9, Mulvane 4
7-21–Hutchinson 1, Cheney 0; Rose Hill 9, Mulvane 0; (nc) Liberal 16, Derby 6
7-22–Bat Cats 6, Newton 4; Cheney 6, Hutchinson 2; Mulvane at Rose Hill; Seeds at Haysville (DH); (nc) Liberal at Derby
7-23–Bat Cats at Newton; Cheney at Hutchinson; Seeds at Haysville; Mulvane at Rose Hill
7-24–Bat Cats at Liberal