Five Garden City High School athletic teams competed Thursday in five different locations as the boys golf and tennis teams traveled to Dodge City and Haysville-Campus while the girls softball and swimming squads were on the road to Colby and Hutchinson. And in a rescheduled doubleheader from April 7, the Buffs' baseball team played at home against Wichita North.
The Buffs baseball team snapped a four-game losing streak with a sweep of Wichita North, 6-1 in the opener and 13-12 in a slugfest nightcap, at Clint Lightner Stadium.
And the Buffs did so in dramatic fashion, using an error by the Redskins' shortstop in the bottom of the seventh to score Cooper Thayer from third with the winning run. Moments before, the Buffs had tied the score when Lance Allred singled to push across David Arteaga.
The Buffs, 3-9 overall, are scheduled to play Dodge City at 4 p.m. Friday in a single game, but the weather forecast of rain may likely postpone it, and would probably be rescheduled to April 27 against the Demons at Clint Lightner.
In the opener, Arteaga went 4 for 4 and drove in a run and Auston Waetzig went 2 for 2 with a pair of RBIs to lead the 14-hit attack for coach Justin Reich. Eiler Arreola pitched a complete game, going the full seven innings with an 80-pitch count, yielding nine hits and just the one earned run. He struck out five and walked none.
"We did a lot of good things in the games, and still have many things to improve upon," Reich said. "But it felt good to play at home, and it feels great to get a couple of wins."
The Buffs scored once in the second, added two runs in each of the third and fourth frames and adding one more in the sixth. North's lone run off Arreola came in the sixth.
In the nightcap, it was a far different story as the teams combined for 25 runs and 41 hits, along with five errors. The two teams used seven pitchers, four by North and three by the Buffs.
With the winning run coming in the Buffs' final at-bat, Jayden Escamilla picked up the victory.
The teams traded single runs in the first, the Buffs scored once in the second before countering a two-run third by North with six runs of their own, making it 8-3. The Redskins added two in the fourth, the Buffs pushed across one in their half of the inning and tacked on two more in the fifth, giving them a 11-5 lead through five.
Then, North erupted for seven runs in the sixth inning to take a 12-11 lead, before the final at-bat heroics.
The Buffs pounded out 22 hits off four North hurlers, with Arteaga going 4 for 4 with three RBIs. Arreola and David Sandoval had a pair of RBIs each while Andrew Kreutzer went 3 for 3. Thayer, Waetzig and Sandoval had two hits apiece.
The Buffs continued to find their swagger in a doubleheader at Colby that was originally slated to be played Friday, but moved up 24 hours to avoid the possible inclement weather forecast for the day.
In the opener, the Buffs exploded for 10 runs in the third inning that paved the way for a 14-0, five-inning, run-rule decision over the host Eagles.
And they followed it up with an 18-2, three-inning mercy rule victory over their hosts.
The sweep improved the Buffs to 7-3 overall and extended their winning streak to six games. They will host Hays High at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Tangeman Sports Complex.
The Buffs pounded out 12 hits, with Laura Farmer leading the way with three hits and four RBIs. Reagan Nordby went 2 for 4 with three RBIs while Reigan Crawford drove in a pair of runs. Yazmin Vargas and Erykah Foster each had two hits.
Hailey Dart and Gisselle Gutierrez combined for a 1-hit shutout as Gutierrez came in to relieve Dart in the fourth and yielded just one hit in her two innings of work. She struck out two and walked none. Dart, picking up the win, had eight strikeouts and no walks.
Farmer doubled to score Vargas in the first and Nordby came on on a groundout RBI by Vargas in the second. Then, the Buffs pushed across 10 runs in the third, as 15 batters came to the plate. The Buffs were aided by five Colby miscues.
“We swung the bats pretty well today and hit it hard,” head coach Trina Moquett said. “We pitched well and our bats are starting to kind of come together. Everybody’s getting more consistent at the plate and we’re getting quality at-bats.”
In the nightcap, Farmer continued her hot hitting by going 3 for 4 with 6 RBIs, collecting two home runs in the process. Five other Buffs had two hits apiece as they broke loose for a 16-hit attack. Lauren Koster added two doubles, Erykah Foster and Ryleigh Whitehurst a double each and winning pitcher Yazmin Vargas tacked on a home run.
The Buffs wasted little time in putting the game away, scoring 14 runs in the first inning. Vargas held the Eagles to just two hits.
Once again, the two doubles teams were the driving force for the Garden City High School boys on Thursday as they slipped past Goddard Eisenhower by a 21-20 margin to capture the Haysville-Campus Invitational.
The No. 1 doubles team of Will Keller and Daniel Darter torpedoed their three opponents, losing just three games for the day.
“They just walked through everybody,” GCHS coach Rod Robinson said of his top doubles team, which improved its season record to 18-2.
Brian Carrera and Daniel Chacon placed second in the No. 2 doubles division, going 2-1 for the eight-team bracket event. They defeated teams from Winfield and Campus, before falling 8-4 to Derby’s Daniel Dunn and Kyle Findley.
Huy Nguyen and Nathan Morren placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the singles divisions. Nguyen went 1-2, winning his opener before dropping his final two matches. His lone win came in an 8-7 (6) tiebreaker over Ethan Kardin of Derby. Nathan Morren went 2-1 to capture the fifth-place consolation bracket when he defeated Jarod Macoby of Derby 8-4.
The Buffs will travel to Topeka on Monday for the 9 a.m. Topeka Invitational before returning to host on Thursday their weather-delayed GCHS Invitational that was originally scheduled for Saturday. The tentative starting time for that is 10 a.m.
The Hutchinson High School Swim meet has not been, historically, kind to the Garden City Buffaloes in the past. Thursday proved to be a different story as the Buffaloes left Hutchinson with two individual winners, and a second-place team finish.
“We swam well. I am really happy with how they performed at the meet,” head coach Jennifer Meng said. “In the past, this has not been a good meet for us, so we were pleasantly surprised with how we finished.”
The Buffalo relay teams had a strong showing Thursday. The 200-yard medley relay finished second, the 400-yard freestyle relay, and the 200-yard freestyle relay finished fifth.
“(Our relay teams) didn’t PR, or have our best times of the season, but we swam well,”said Meng.
The highlight of the night for the Buffaloes were the two individual winners as juniors Emma Tull and Kirstin Neff won the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly, respectively.
“They were both awesome,” said Meng. “We mixed it up a bit with Emma, today. She hasn’t swam the 200 since her freshman year, so it was good to see her win it.”
The Buffs travel to Wichita Trinity on Saturday.
Despite shooting its lowest score of the season, the Garden City boys golf team placed fourth at Thursday’s Dodge City Invitational, contested over the par-71 Mariah Hills Golf Course layout.
The Buffs had a score of 319, counting their four lowest scores that included Sion Audrain at 75, Tyler Morren at 79, Mason Shaddix at 82 and Aaron Schafer at 83. Non-counting scores for the Buffs were Reid Richmeier at 84 and Noah Ortiz at 91, although Ortiz’ score is his best of the season.
“We played better as a whole than we’ve played all year,” head coach Jacob Waller said. “Everybody seemed to shoot closer to their potential.”
While Class 5A Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel won the team title with a score of 307, Western Athletic Conference rival Hays High placed second at 314, and was the low WAC team in that portion of the tournament.
“I’m really happy for the way the kids played today, and I was surprised at how well Hays played to beat us,” Waller said.
Hays’ Tragdon McRae took medalist honors with a 1-over-par 72, after sharing the low score with Goddard Eisenhower’s Tyler Trudo. Jack Baker of Kapaun-Mt. Carmel was third with a 73 while Liberal’s Cameron Riley (74) and Dodge City’s Luke Gleason (74) rounded out the top five.
The Buffs will have a week to prepare for the Hutchinson Invitational a week from Friday at Carey Park Golf Course, with the tourney slated to tee off at 8 a.m.