Great Bend High School’s baseball team opened the season by splitting with Garden City on Tuesday evening.
The Panthers took Game 1 8-2, but fell 10-6 in the nightcap at Great Bend Sports Complex.
Errors were the main factor in GBHS head coach Randy Beck’s mind.
“Before the doubleheader started, I talked to the team about how the team that makes the fewest mistakes is going to win the game,” Beck said. “That sure turned out being the truth. Game 1, they made more mistakes than we did, and in Game 2, it kind of flip flopped there.”
Great Bend opens the season with a 1-1 record and hosts Nickerson on Friday.
Bryce Beck got things started on the right foot for Great Bend, taking the mound in the first game.
Beck went the full seven innings and allowed 11 hits and struck out four. In the early goings, Beck kept Garden City on the ground and in the infield, allowing his defense to get out of innings quickly.
“On the mound, Bryce threw a nice game,” Randy Beck said. “We really pitched well, we had a few base-running errors, but at the plate, in both games, we had good approaches and battled real hard with two strikes. Those are two of our goals. We hit the ball well.
“They gave us some runs, but overall, we got on base and you got to be on base to score.”
Offensively, Great Bend didn’t wait long.
In the bottom of the first, Shade Wondra got a walk with one out. Dillon Reiser reached on an error. Brady Michel hit an RBI single, and Jared Maneth clubbed a two-run single, boosting the Panthers to a 3-0 lead after one inning.
Great Bend continued to stack the deck in its favor, scoring a run in each of the following innings.
Hillman scored in the bottom of the second on an error, Tristan Hall scored on a Hillman single in the second, Michel hit an RBI double to score Beck in the fourth, Maneth scored on a wild pitch in the fifth and Wondra scored on a passed ball after reaching base with a double in the sixth.
Garden City didn’t get on the scoreboard until the top of the sixth inning. Thomas Solorio hit a double and scored on a single from Ivan Gutierrez.
The Buffaloes added a run in the seventh when Solorio drove in Jacob Rivas with a sacrifice fly, but Garden City couldn’t rally.
Great Bend got out early again in the second game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first.
Reiser hit a single and Michel reached on an error before Tristan Hall drove both of them in with a single.
Tristna Hall took the mound for the Panthers, and relinquished his first run in the top of the second.
Garden City’s Emilio Parr hit an RBI single after Tristan Hall struck a pair of batters, but a the senior pitcher caught Parr stealing second base and doubled up by catching a late steal at home plate to end the inning.
Marcus Zapata drove in a run with a single in the third inning, and Solorio drove him in with a double. Solorio scored on a bunt single from Gutierrez.
“It just seemed like we couldn’t get ahead of hitters, and they got in a lot of hitter’s counts,” Randy Beck said. “They kind of put us on our heels a little bit and got a few good hacks at the ball.”
Great Bend switched pitchers, sending Michel to the mound.
Garden City got three more runs. The first on a passed ball, the second on a fielder’s choice and the third on a throwing error.
The Panthers trailed 7-2 heading into the bottom of the third.
Jack Westhoff drew a walk, and Jared Maneth followed with a double in the bottom of the third. Both scored on a single from Jaxx Hillman.
Great Bend got another run in the fourth with Michel scoring on a Westhoff single, making it 7-5.
Garden City added to its lead in the top of the sixth, scoring three runs to make it 10-5.
Bryce Beck scored on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the sixth.
HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
Western Athletic Conference
At Great Bend
Great Bend Sports Complex
Great Bend 8, Garden City 2
123 456 7 R H E
GC 000 001 1 — 2 11 2
GB 311 111 x — 8 9 2
Ivan Gutierrez & Thomas Solorio. Bryce Beck & Jared Maneth. 2B — Garden City (Solorio); Great Bend (Jaxx Hillman, Brady Michel, Shade Wondra).
Garden City 10, Great Bend 6
123 456 7 R H E
GC 016 003 0 — 10 8 3
GB 202 101 0 — 6 7 5
Mario Montoya & Tomas Solorio. Tristan Hall, Brady Michel (3) & Anson Hall. 2B — Garden City (Solorio); Great Bend (Jared Maneth).