BY JIM MISUNAS
WICHITA – The Great Bend Bat Cats were living on the edge, behind by two runs with no room for error. The Waco, Texas Missions strung together five hits for a 6-2 lead, putting the Bat Cats' season in jeopardy.
But the Bat Cats survived to play another day in a hard-fought 7-5 loss to the Waco, Texas Missions. Great Bend (1-1, minus 1 run) nips Waco (1-1, minus 2 runs) by one run. The Hays Larks (1-1, plus 3 runs) wins Pool D.
The Bat Cats play Sunflower Collegiate League rival Wichita Sluggers at 9:30 p.m. in Tuesday's bracket play. The Sluggers have whipped the Bat Cats in four of five meetings. Tuesday's winners meet Wednesday at Wichita State's Eck Stadium.
Waco foolishly played its infield and outfield back as Clay Lockett scored the bracket-winning run on a wild pitch. Waco pitcher Drew McPherson imploded with two walks and two wild pitches to hand the Bat Cats the decisive run.
"We knew what what that run meant, but we were losing. It wasn't a happy dugout," said Great Bend coach Roger Ward. "The sooner we got to their bullpen, the better. That's their weakness. We scrapped to the end with everything on the line."
Ward said he was surprised Waco didn't adjust its infield and outfield to cut off the Bat Cats' decisive fifth run.
"We're moving on. It definitely wasn't pretty," Ward said. "We wanted to save some pitching. But I was pretty scared."
Dawson Pomeroy delivered the game's biggest hit with a 2-run single to score Cade Gonzales and Daunte Freeman for a 7-4 score.
"Dawson Pomeroy had a really good NBC World Series last year," Ward said. "But we need to get a few guys clicking."
The Bat Cats edged to a 1-0 lead when Brady Michel singled home Pomeroy with a second-inning single. The Missions scored two fourth-inning runs. Jeremy Jackson scored on Jack Aydelotte's groundout after a walk, single and balk by starter Easton Smith. Ray Sadler singled home Chris Harrison.
Bat Cats shortstop Gonzales, a Newton Rebel addition, missed a play when he misjudged a shallow pop fly. Mayhew scored on Zane Morehouse's bloop single for a 3-1 lead. Pomeroy singled home Freeman to slice the lead to 3-2 after six innings.
The Bat Cats' pitching collapsed in a three-run seventh inning as the Missions strung together five hits. Three runners reached base against reliever Joe Richter. Morehouse doubled home Anthony Guajardo off pitcher Jacob Ensz. Mayhew barely beat a throw by Freeman on a sacrifice fly. Morehouse scored on a bases-loaded walk passed out by Richter for a 7-2 lead.
Waco, Texas 000 210 310 – 7 13 1
GB Bat Cats 010 001 021 – 5 8 0
Eubanks, Young (8), McPherson (9), Morehouse (9) and Mayhew. Smith, Ensz (5), Richter (7), Bell (9) and Bloomer. W–Eubanks. L–Smith. 2B–W–Morehouse. 3B–W–Mayhew.
WICHITA STATE, ECK STADIUM
POOL A—1—Hutchinson Monarchs 2-0; 2—Wichita 316 Elite 1-1; 3—Palm Springs (Calif.) Chill 0-2; G1—316 Elite 11, Palm Springs 3; G2—Hutchinson 7, 316 Elite 4; G3—Hutchinson 6, Palm Springs 5
POOL B—1—Wichita Sluggers 2-0; 2—Denver (Colo.) Cougars 1-1; 3—Wellington Heat 0-2; G1—Sluggers 8, Wellington 1; G2—Wichita 10, Denver 3; G3—Denver 5, Wellington 4
POOL C—1—Derby Twins 2-0; 2—Dodge City A’s 1-1; 3—Jasper (Ind.) Reds 0-2; G1–Derby 7, Jasper 1; G2—Derby 10, Dodge City 3; G3—Dodge City 10, Jasper Reds 0
POOL D—1—Hays Larks 1-1 (8-5); 2—Great Bend Bat Cats 1-1 (10-11); 3—Waco (Texas) Missions 1-1 (7-9); G1—Hays 4, Waco 0; G2–Bat Cats 5, Hays 4; G3—Waco 7, Bat Cats 5
TUESDAY’S BRACKET PLAY
Hutchinson Monarchs 7, Dodge City A’s 1
Great Bend Bat Cats 6, Wichita Sluggers 3
Derby Twins 5, Wichita 316 Elite 2
Hays Larks 2, Denver Cougars 0
WEDNESDAY'S BRACKET PLAY
Derby Twins vs. Hays Larks
Hutchinson Monarchs vs. Great Bend Bat Cats
THURSDAY’S BRACKET PLAY
POOL 1—THURSDAY—G1—San Diego Waves vs. Texas Express, 1; G2—Cheney Diamond Dawgs vs. Seattle Studs, 7; SATURDAY—G3—winners; G4—losers
POOL 2—FRIDAY—G1—Game Day (Colo.) Saints vs. qualifier 1; G2—Santa Barbara (Calif.) Foresters vs. Haysville Aviators, 7; SUNDAY—G3—winners; G4—losers
POOL 3—THURSDAY—G1—Kansas Cannons vs. San Antonio Angels, 3:30; G2—Colorado Cyclones vs. Fairbanks Goldpanners, 9:30; SATURDAY—G3—winners; G4—losers
POOL 4—FRIDAY—G1—Lonestar Baseball vs. qualifier, 3:30; G1—Liberal Bee Jays vs. San Diego Stars, 9:30; SUNDAY—G3—winners; G4—losers