The Great Bend High School baseball team hasn’t been able to enjoy settling into the new City of Great Bend Sports Complex.
On Tuesday, April 3, the Panthers had their season-opening doubleheader with Western Athletic Conference foe Liberal — their first game at their new ballpark — postponed because of inclement weather. It has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 26, at home.
On Thursday, April 5, GBHS got its season under way in an inordinate way. Scheduled to make the short trip to Hoisington for a non-conference twinbill, the games were moved to Great Bend after Hoisington officials deemed their field unplayable because of heavy rains.
After pushing back the 4 p.m. start time to 5, the Panthers then played their first games ever in the new ballpark as the visiting team on the scoreboard. They fell behind in both games before rallying to win in extra innings, capturing the first game 6-4 in 10 innings and completing the sweep with a 6-2 win in nine.
Today at 4, Great Bend hosts Scott City in another non-conference doubleheader — weather permitting.
“It’s been a very slow start to the season, so far,” GBHS head coach Randy Beck said. “Our schedule is really going start piling up on us … trying to get 20 games in with the short amount of time we have.
“Our last games are on the 10th of May and our (Class 5A) regional is on the 14th. We don’t have a whole lot of time. If we get things rained out, is going to be a pretty tight schedule.”
According to the local weather forecast, it is expected to be mostly sunny today and thunderstorms are slated to move into the area on Saturday.
“We’re going to do whatever we can to get these games in,” Beck said. “We don’t want to make it unsafe for the kids to play, but if it’s possible, we’re going to get that field ready to go.”
Although the start of the season has been anything but smooth, the Panthers’ spirits were bolstered after rallying for the sweep of the 3A Cardinals.
“The real positive thing is that our kids didn’t lay down, even when we got down (3-0) in the first inning,” Beck said. “We plugged away and scored when we had to.
“A doubleheader with two extra-inning games, you don’t see that very often. I’m proud of the kids for bouncing back, and it’s something to build on.”