KINGMAN — The Great Bend Bat Cats faced their batting Kryptonite when Kingman trotted out soft-throwing lefthander Derick Johnson. The Bat Cats have struggled to hit the baseball against soft-tossing lefthanders.
The 2A Inman pitcher shut out the Bat Cats for three innings to secure a hard-fought 4-3 Sunflower Collegiate League baseball victory Friday. Johnson (4-1) retired nine of 10 batters with a perfect mix of off-speed pitches. Johnson was ineffective in the spring when he permitted 13 runs in 41/3 innings at Hutchinson Community College.
The Bat Cats (15-6) drop to third place in the Sunflower Collegiate League after starting the week in first place.
Kingman's Gavin Djurovic was forced home with the game-deciding run when reliever George Austin hit Ben Waliczek with a pitch. Pitcher Matt Nedved walked two batters in the inning.
Great Bend scored three fifth-inning runs for a 3-1 lead. Adam Mustow scored on Brady Kreutzer's single. Connor Allen scored on an error. Kreutzer scored on a sacrifice fly by Rodgers.
Great Bend went scoreless in eight of nine innings with five singles. Three times, the Bat Cats hit fly balls to the warning track for outs. Kingman catcher Erik Foufoulas threw out speedster Alex Rodgers on back-to-back steal attempts to shut down the running game.
Bat Cat starter Payton Tinkler benefited from a pair of double-play groundballs turned by second baseman Kreutzer and shortstop Raithan Malone.
Kingman's Ezra Farmer scored on a Waliczek second-inning groundout. Farmer singled home Gavin Djurovic and Jace Russell scored on a Foufoulos bloop single for a 3-3 tie after six innings.
GB Bat Cats 000 030 000 — 3 5 0
Kingman 010 002 01x — 4 7 2
Great Bend 16-6
Wichita Lobos 6-14
316 Elite 0-18
7-3—Great Bend at Kingman; Hutchinson at Haysville; Mulvane at Derby
7-2—Kingman at Great Bend, 6; Derby at Mulvane; Haysville at Hutchinson; Elite at Newton (2)
7-1—Kingman 4, Great Bend 3; Hutchinson 12, Haysville 2; Cheney 9, Kansas Cannons 5
6-30—Great Bend 17, Kingman 1; Hutchinson 5, Haysville 4, 12 innings; Cheney 12-10, Lobos 9-0; Newton 9, Wellington 3