By Mike Pilosof
Borger, TX-Garden City found themselves in a familiar position entering the seventh inning on Tuesday.
The Broncbusters were down; then came back to take the lead before a three-run rally by the Plainsmen in the eighth did them in.
Nicholas Ramos had two hits including the go-ahead single in the eighth, as Frank Phillips slipped past Garden City 6-5 at FPC Field.
The Broncbusters dug themselves an early hole in this one. Ramos slapped a two-run double in the third, and Preston Lonadier ripped a run-scoring single in the fourth to put the Plainsmen on top 3-0.
Meantime Garden City had problems getting their offense going. At one point, Frank Phillips starter Armando Valle retired 10 straight Broncbuster hitters before issuing a walk to Dakota Finley to begin the seventh. But that one single crack in Valle's armour, allowed Garden City to get right back in the game.
Once Finley was issued a free pass, the sophomore stole second and third before scoring on an error by catcher Edwin Mendez. Once the Plainsmen went to the bullpen, the Broncbusters took full advantage. Brett Thompson was hit by a pitch, and Grant Lathrop singled him home to make it 3-2. Moments later, Griffin Brunson and Lathrop scored on a wild pitch, and the Broncbusters had their first lead of the day, 4-3.
In the eighth, Finely doubled with one out, Brock Johnson was hit by a pitch, and Alec Eskenazi hit into an RBI fielder's choice to stretch the lead to two. After Thompson walked on six pitches, Garden City had a chance to add to their lead. But with runners at the corners, Brunson struck out swinging to end the threat.
The door was left open just enough.
Reliever Ryan Nason surrendered back-to-back one-out singles in the bottom of the eighth. Then, with a runner at third, Johnson failed to block a ball that rolled back to the screen, allowing a run to score to make it 5-4. After issuing a walk, Finnegan replaced Nason with Andrew Sumner, who promptly gave up a bloop single that plated two to put the Plainsmen up 6-5.
Garden City threatened in the ninth, putting together back-to-back two-out singles by Corbin Truslow and Sean Klein. But with the tying run in scoring position, Finley flied out to right to end the game.
Nason took the loss for Garden City, giving up three runs on two hits in 2/3 of an inning. Jordan Yates started the game and yielded two runs on three hits in three innings. Emmanuel Nunez gave up one, while Damian Acosta worked two scoreless, and Paxton Robinson gave up one hit in one inning.
Nick Thatch picked up the win for Frank Phillips, tossing 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Next up: Garden City at Seward-Friday, April 12-1:45 p.m. pregame; 2 p.m. first pitch on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app