Colby, KS-The Garden City Baseball team (14-9, 2-2) used the magic of two to win their first game with Colby 10-4 at Young Memorial Field. In game two Colby (9-9, 2-2) pitched a shutout 5-0 and held the Broncbusters without a run for the first time this year to split their four-game series opening up the conference season.
It was the Johnny Podsednik show in the first game. He came through with a pair of two-out RBI base hits, one in the first on an RBI single to left in making it a 2-0 lead for Garden; the other in the third on a two-run double giving the Broncbusters a 4-0 advantage. The three RBI was one shy of his season total coming into the game. Both run-producing hits came off Colby starting pitcher Bryce Fraser (2-2).
"Today he (Podsednik) was really good with the stick, and I thought he called a tremendous game with Ryder (Yakel), said Garden City Head Coach Chris Finnegan.
Fraser went 5 1/3 innings pitched, gave up 12 hits and seven earned runs. He only allowed one of the Trojans 29 walks during the series.
Ryder Yakel, the freshman star pitcher from Lakin, improved his record to 3-0, going the distance for Garden City's second complete game of the series. Yakel scattered seven hits over seven innings.
"He (Yakel) just located his fastball," Finnegan said. "He just located his fastball. He got ahead of hitters and then he could start pitching from there."
Yakel allowed two unearned runs in the third when a fielding error occurred at second on a grounder up the middle by Drake Kirkwood. The next batter Garrett Kirkwood doubled to the left-center power gap, bringing in two and cutting Garden City's lead to 4-2.
Connor Reynolds had the answer for Garden in re-establishing their four run lead at 6-2 with a two-run double off Fraser. Yakel in the bottom of the fourth served up Adam Cook's fourth homer of the year for the Trojans making it 6-3 Garden.
Garden scored four unanswered. Jesse Gonzales homered for the first time this year and fourth of his collegiate career in the fifth off Fraser. Alex Nielsen added an RBI single off Trojan reliever Nykolas Crumrine and Aeneas Roberson knocked in two off Shane Hoyer in the seventh.
Garden City had two-run innings in the first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth while only failing to score in the second and seventh.
In game two, starting pitcher Greg Leban walked one Broncbuster in each inning the first through the fifth and two in the sixth, but Garden could not capitalize. The Broncbusters left the bases loaded in the fifth when Alex Nielsen struck and out and two on in the sixth when three straight were retired by reliever Carlos Amador after the first two batters reached.
"A lot of it is we just have to be consistent," Finnegan said, "It's just like any other team if they want to be successful. When you are given opportunities, you have to take advantage of it."
The team that scored won each game in the series. There were no lead changes over the four games.
Garden City is back at home next Saturday to host a four game series with Cloud County. The Thunderbirds were swept in four games this weekend by Dodge City.