Despite a 10-6 hitting margin by the opposition, Great Bend turned up the heat with eight runs over three innings to take a 9-5 victory overall Scott City in the Panthers’ home opener Tuesday. Great Bend mustered only four hits in game two against Thomas More Prep (Hays) as the Monarchs claimed a 6-3 win giving the Panthers a 1-1 split.
“I feel like we had a lack of focus against Scott City in all aspects of our game,” said coach Randy Beck. “The good thing about it is that we came away with a win and learned from our mistakes.”
In game one, Great Bend recorded their first run in their opening at bat. Matt Zecha’s double scored Brady Michel to give the home team a 1-0 advantage.
The game turned into a see-saw affair over the next two and a half innings.
The Beavers plated a pair of runs in their half of the third and went up 2-1. Great Bend then posted a two-run fourth as a wild pitch scored Jack Westhoff. Bryce Lytle then came across off a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jaxx Hillman to give the Panthers a narrow 3-2 lead.
Following a three-run go ahead by Scott City in the top of the fifth, Great Bend tied the game in the bottom half as Westhoff’s single scored Brady Michel. Braden Smith was then hit by a Beaver pitch with bases loaded scoring Jacob Murray and knotting the contest at five.
A four-run outing in the Panther sixth broke the stalemate as Michel unloaded a two-run triple scoring Hillman and Shade Wondra. Michel then came across off a wild pitch before Zecha scored on an infield error to give Great Bend a 9-5 lead and the eventual victory.
Wondra (2-0) collected his second season win after two innings of relief as the closer. Wondra yielded two hits while posting a pair of strikeouts.
Great Bend took the initial lead in Tuesday’s second round against TMP. A bases-loaded walk by Zecha scored Lytle before Hillman singled Wondra across to give the Panthers a 2-0 favor. The Monarchs responded in the next frame with two runs of their own to tie the game at two. After a scoreless third, TMP broke away with four runs in their half of the fourth to take a 6-2 lead. The Panthers were limited to just a run in the bottom half as Peyton Mauler scored of a single by Wondra.
Both teams went dormant over the final three innings as TMP went on to collect the 6-3 win.
Logan Perry (1-1) suffered his first loss of the season after throwing four innings as the starter. Perry gave up six runs off of eight hits and recorded a strikeout.
“We did a better job of competing against TMP,” said Beck. “Our pitching staff kept the score close working out of a few jams. We had chances early and late in the game but could not get that key hit to really get us going offensively. Defensively we played a solid game and limited our mistakes,” he said.
With Tuesday’s non conference split, Great Bend evens its season record at 4-4. The Panthers return to WAC play on April 28 as Hays pays a visit to the Great Bend Sports Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 4 pm.