Tuesday’s 14-1 opening round loss to Hays is an occasion coach Randy Beck and the Panthers would very much like to put out of their minds. They did. Following the defeat in the first round, the Panthers scattered ten runs over the third through sixth innings to take a 12-7 victory in the closer.
“I was proud of the team for fighting the way they did in game two,” said coach Randy Beck. “Especially after being down by five runs going into the third and answering back with five of our own to tie it up.”
The Indians out hit Great Bend in game one by an 11-5 margin as Hays went on a 5-0 run over the first two innings. Following three straight scoreless frames, Hays tacked on nine runs for insurance in the sixth and seventh before the Panthers notched their only score in their final at-bat.
Brady Michel put up three of Great Bend’s five slaps and finished three for three in the first contest. Michel and Jack Westhoff each had a double.
Bryce Lytle (0-3) was charged with the loss after four and two-thirds innings as the starter. Lytle struck out five Indian batters in the effort.
The Panthers turned the tables an won the hitting battle in game two, 14-6.
After a three-run inning by the opposition, Great Bend reeled in a pair of runs and narrowed the gap 3-2 before the Indians added three more runs in the second and one in the third to go up 7-2 after two and half innings of play. It would be the final time Hays would cross the plate as the Panthers rolled in a five-run assault in the Great Bend half of the third and took the go ahead leading 7-6. The Panthers brought five more runs across in the bottom of the fifth and sixth and held the Indians in check for the final inning.
Michel batted a thousand at four for four while Lytle ended the contest at four for five. Matt Zecha went two for three.
Anson Hall (1-1) recorded his first victory of the season coming on in relief for starter Logan Perry. Hall pitched four and a third innings allowing only a hit while retiring five Hays batters.
“Brady is seeing the ball well at the plate and his confidence is high,” Beck said of his junior hitter. “He is at his best when he uses the whole field which is what he did today. Bryce also had a good day at the plate. He was aggressive and it paid off.”
Great Bend (5-5, 4-4 WAC) remains at .500 in season and conference play following Tuesday’s split with Hays. The Panthers will visit Nickerson in non conference play on Friday at 4 p.m. Great Bend then returns to WAC competition on May 5 in a two-game home series against Dodge City.