By Mike Pilosof
Photo by Adam Shrimplin
Garden City, KS-You could see it in his facial express—Corbin Truslow was fuming.
After his team got one-hit in the opener, Truslow took all his aggression out on Colby starter Peyton Ingalls, whacking two big flies, Malachi Crone picked up his sixth win of the season, and the Broncbusters evened the score with an 8-6 victory over the Trojans in game two Friday afternoon at Williams Stadium.
"Corbin missed a sign and he was in the doghouse," Head Coach Chris Finnegan said. "But he made up for up twice, so we moved on."
Truslow erased the bitter taste still flowing through his teammates' mouths courtesy of Logan Hofman's complete-game gem.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first, Truslow smashed a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left to tie the game. It was one mighty swing that got the rest of the team flowing.
"It is so hard, after you get one hit or no hit, to come back that second game and get something going," Finnegan said. "But give our guys credit, because they did just that."
Truslow's homer ignited a sleeping giant, one that had just four hits in their previous 16 innings entering game two. And down 2-1 in the second, Truslow and his mates went to work.
Alec Eskenazi reached on an infield single, Turner McDonald doubled to left, and Jake Barber hit a sacrifice fly to tie game at 2. Truslow followed with a walk; then McDonald scored when Enok Perez dropped a ball in center, and Chris Lara smoked a two-run single to put Garden City up 5-2.
"Once the guys started hitting, it really opened things up," Finnegan said. "Our goal was to get to their bullpen."
But in this one, the Broncbusters did most of their damage against the starter, stretching their lead to four runs when Truslow blasted his second homer of the day in the fourth for a 6-2 advantage.
While the offense got back on track, Crone was finding his footing on the bump. After a shaky start where the freshman allowed a run in the first and one in the second, Crone retired seven of the next eight batters he faced. He left after the fifth, tying a season-high with seven strike outs.
"Malachi was all over the place in the first inning," Finnegan said. "But he rebounded nicely. He didn't throw a lot of off-speed stuff, but he worked through it."
Reliever Miguel Ramos gave a run back in the seventh when Matthew Coutney devoured a 1-1 fastball, powering it just inside the right-field foul poll to slice the lead to 6-4. But Garden City added some much-needed insurance in the home half. Klein was hit by a pitch; then scored on Jason Evans' throwing error in right. Dakota Finley followed with an infield RBI single, and the Broncbusters had an 8-4 lead.
"It's going to be a different story when we go to Colby tomorrow because that stadium plays like a popcorn machine," Finnegan said.
Colby made things closer in the ninth, scratching two runs across against Jacob Douglas. But the sophomore reliever got Evans to line out to end the game.
Crone improved to 6-1 this season while Ingalls dropped to 4-2, allowing six earned runs on eight hits in seven innings. He served up two long balls-marking the second time this season he's allowed two or more homers in a game.
Next up: Garden City at Colby-Saturday, April 20-12:45 p.m. pregame; 1 p.m. first pitch on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app