BY JIM MISUNAS
WICHITA – Great Bend reliever Easton Young rode to the rescue for the Bat Cats. Young struck out six batters in 31/3 innings to preserve a 10-9 victory Tuesday over Sunflower Collegiate East leader Haysville.
Young punctuated his 10-out save with back-to-back strikeouts against Aviator all-stars Livan Reinoso and Dayan Reinoso. Young ended the game striking out Nick Martin.
“That was big time,” said Roger Ward, Bat Cats coach. “The environment got to Easton. He was fired up.”
Great Bend’s Ryan Monson led the offense with a double, triple and four RBIs.
Left fielder Brady Michel, a Great Bend native, delivered two game-changing plays by helping throw out two baserunners. Michel doubled off Thomas Stevens on a first inning fly ball. Michel relayed to third baseman Dawson Pomeroy to throw out Owen Stauffer for a critical sixth-inning out on Thomas Stevens’ double. Pomeroy also triggered a 5-3 double play in the third inning.
The Bat Cats rallied from a 6-1 deficit keyed by a six-run fourth inning with two out.
“They battled. That’s why we came out on top,” Ward said. “We’ve done damage with two out. That was a big game. We feel like every game is a playoff game.”
The Bat Cats (17-9) maintain a two-game lead on the Hutchinson Monarchs (14-10). The Bat Cats play a home doubleheader against the Wichita Sluggers Thursday.
Haysville’s Derek Greening scored on an error and Stevens singled home Martin for a 2-0 lead after two innings. Great Bend’s Brenden Tauber scored on a third-inning wild pitch. Standout Livan Reinoso drilled a three-run homer after Owen Stauffer’s RBI groundout for a 6-1 lead.
Monson delivered a two-run double to score Alex Guevera and Collin Meinert in a six-run fourth inning. Hunter Romero scored on a wild pitch and Pomeroy scored on an error. Daunte Freeman’s RBI single scored Monson for a 7-6 lead.
Guevera singled home Pomeroy and Monson’s two-run single scored Brenden Tauber and Guevera for a 10-6 lead after five innings. Keaton Candor singled home Stevens and Livan Reinoso to end the night for starter Tanner Howe.
The Aviators scratched out a ninth-inning run when Chris Robinson scored on a Greening’s groundout for a 10-9 final.
Haysville 020 402 001 – 9 14 3
GB Bat Cats 001 630 00x – 10 9 2
Wagoner, Morrison (4), Schmich (5) and Martin. Howe, Young (6) and Bloomer. W—Howe. Sv—Young. L—Wagoner. 2B—GB—Monson; H—Martin, Stevens. 3B—GB—Monson. HR—H—Livan Reinoso.
Cheney Diamond Dawgs 24-3
Great Bend Bat Cats 17-9
Hutchinson Monarchs 14-10
Wichita Sluggers 12-13
Andale Warhawks 4-24
Haysville Aviators 17-10
El Dorado Broncos 15-11
Derby Twins 15-11
Mulvane Patriots 13-14
Newton Rebels 13-15
x-Salina Shock 3-27
x-Shock forfeits final 10 games
Derby 4-6, Newton 1-3
Cheney 19, Andale 2
Hutchinson 14, Haysville 5
Great Bend 10, Haysville 9
Newton 12, Andale 3
Cheney 10, Derby 4
Wichita 12, El Dorado 11