By Mike Pilosof
Garden City, KS-Corbin Truslow has been seething over the last couple of weeks. In game two on Friday, he finally boiled over.
The sophomore smacked two home runs, Chris Lara collected a career-high four hits, and Garden City held on to beat Seward County 10-9 at Brent Gould Field.
"It feels good to get this one," Finnegan said. "We swung the bats well and put ourselves in a good position."
As a freshman, Truslow recorded three multi-homer games, the last of which came in the series finale vs. Colby. Fast forward a calendar year, the big man was at it again.
After Saints' starter Cole Evans walked Turner McDonald to begin the game, Truslow swatted a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right-center for a 2-0 lead. Once Seward County tied the game in the home half, Truslow was at it again in the third. With one out, the sophomore blasted his second homer off of Evans to right, giving Garden City a 3-2 advantage. Sean Klein then reached on an error by Jose Caraballo at short, Dakota Finley walked, Colin Stone ripped a two-run single, and Chris Lara doubled home two more, capping off a five-run inning that put the Broncbusters up 7-2.
"You got to look at it this way: we kept scoring," Finnegan said. "This was a day where the wind was blowing in, so you wouldn't think it would be much of an offensive day."
Even with the elements supporting a defensive game, the Saints went on the offensive in the sixth. And after working a scoreless fifth, reliever Miguel Ramos struggled in the sixth. Caraballo mashed a two-run triple, Wyatt Grant hit a sacrifice fly, and AJ Folds added a run-scoring single to pull Seward County within one, 7-6.
"This game was definitely way more offensive than I thought it would be," Finnegan said. "But every time we play them, something crazy usually happens."
Knowing the end result in game one, Garden City needed some insurance. And they got it in the eighth. Jake Barber's two-run single was followed up by a costly error by third basemen Benny Ayala, which allowed Barber to come around for a 10-6 advantage.
But nothing comes easy in the Jayhawk Conference.
With one on and two outs in the bottom of ninth, Finley failed to field a ball at third, extending the inning. The next batter, Zane Alexander, scorched an RBI single to center. Caraballo then chopped a ball to Griffin Brunson at short, but the sophomore was a second late on this throw to second and the bases were loaded. Grant followed with a two-run single, and all of the sudden the Broncbusters' lead was down to one, 10-9.
"We are just having a problem getting that third out; I don't know what it is," Finnegan said. "We can get two outs just fine."
Luis Padilla, who had not allowed a run in four straight appearances coming into this series, took a deep breath, and struck out Jordan Kennedy to finally end the game.
Ramos picked up the win in relief, giving up three runs on three hits in 1.2 innings. Malachi Crone started the game, surrendering two runs on four hits in four innings.
"Malachi didn't throw the ball well to start the game," Finnegan said. "That's been an ongoing issue, and I'm not sure what it is."
Lara finished 4-for-5 with two RBI for Garden City, who improved to 9-4 in their last 13 conference games.
Evans took the loss for Seward, yielding five earned runs on six hits in four innings.