Busters Embarrass Saints

KSCB News - March 7, 2016 6:46 am

The Seward County Saints looked like they were in good shape in game three of their Jayhawk West Conference series Sunday afternoon at Brent Gould Field in Liberal. Seward led 6-2 into the 7th and final inning of play, but that quickly changed as the visiting Garden City Broncbusters put up a six run 7th to stun the Saints 8-6 before putting a 21-0 beating on Seward in the series finale to take the series 3-1.

Under bright sunny skies and heavy winds, it was the Busters getting on the board first in game one of the double header Sunday, getting a leadoff triple and a two out infield single to take an early 1-0 lead on the Saints.

The Saints struck right back in their first shots at the plate as Jared Biddy lead off the Seward half of the inning with a double and a single from Errett Edwards behind him put two on with nobody out in the 1st. After a strikeout and a ground out keeping the runners where they were, Logan Nethercot launched a moon shot into orbit that eventually sailed over the center field wall for a three run home run to put the Saints in front 3-1.

Garden looked like they were ready for an answer in the 2nd, loading the bases with two outs, but Saints starter Brian Tims picked up a big out as Justin Graff Rowe made a diving play in right center field to end the inning and keep Seward on top 3-1.

It remained a 3-1 game into the 4th when a dropped fly ball in the Seward outfield allowed Garden City to get something going and later in the inning the Busters cashed in the unearned run with a one out double to cut the Saints lead to one at 3-2.

In the bottom of the 5th, Seward loaded the bases with one out before Chad Kennedy was hit by a pitch to drive home run number four to make it a 4-2 game. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Easton Herring brought home Nethercot and just like that the Saints lead was stretched to three at 5-2.

The Saints added an insurance run in the 6th on a sac fly from Graff-Rowe to make it 6-2 and it looked like things were well on their way to a Seward County win with just three outs left to get for victory.

On in relief, Seward righty Nic Ricigliano looked to close out his first career save for the Saints, but with just 2 2/3 career innings under his belt and pitching in a tight spot, he committed a cardinal sin, walking the first two batters of the 7th to help the Busters get into business. With one out in the inning, it looked like the Saints might have gotten the ground ball they needed to win the game, but it was mishandled on the infield and the Busters pushed a run home instead to make it a 6-3 game. A RBI single by Garden made it a two run game at 6-4 before a two run double knotted the score at 6. With the Saints stunned in the third base dugout, Garden didn’t stop there, blasting a two run shot over the center field wall to go in front for the first time since the 1st inning at 8-6.

Down to their final out in the bottom of the inning, Biddy doubled for Seward to bring the tying run to the plate, but a first pitch fly out on the infield ended the Saints chances as Garden came all the way back to shock Seward 8-6 to take game three.

Seward outhit the Busters 12-9 in the loss, but committed two big errors, leading to four unearned Garden City runs. Biddy finished 3 for 5 with 3 doubles to lead the Saints at the plate while Nethercot was 2 for 3 with the big 3 run home run. Ricigliano took the loss on the mound, allowing 5 runs on 2 hits in 1 1/3 innings, falling to 0-1 on the year.

SEWARD COUNTY/GARDEN CITY GAME THREE BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2015-16/boxscores/20160306_klzm.xml>

The momentum the Busters had to close game three carried right over to game four as Garden jumped on the board first with two 1st inning runs to go in front 2-0.

After the Saints went down in order in the bottom of the 1st, Garden City blew the game open in the 2nd, chasing Seward starter Dylan Paul from the game and scoring six times to open up an 8-0 lead. The inning ended on an interesting play as Seward reliever Pierce Edwards uncorked a wild pitch with runners on, but the ball ricocheted off of a railing and back towards the Garden City hitter who caught the ball with one hand and was called out for batters interference to end the inning.

All heck broke loose in the 4th as Garden City loaded the bases without putting a ball in play and then scored a run as Saints pitching walked in a run to make it 9-0. That was just the start of an ugly inning for the Saints who watched as the Busters ended up sending 12 hitters to the plate while scoring eight times to blow the game wide open at 16-0.

Garden added three more in the 6th to make it 19-0 and then a pair in the 7th to push their lead all the way to 21-0.

Seward went down quietly in the 7th, putting one runner on via a Buster error before having him erased on a double play and mercifully the run rule kicked in in a 21-0 Garden City win.

The Saints managed just 5 hits in the loss, two coming off the bat of Jared Ledbetter who finished 2 for 3. A pieced together Saints pitching staff allowed 16 Garden City hits, walked 14 Buster batters, and hit 3 in one of the uglier performances on the mound in Seward history. Paul took the loss, allowing 9 hits and 8 runs in just 1 2/3 innings of work to fall to 0-2 on the year.

The loss was the largest margin of victory in a Seward County defeat in program history.

SEWARD COUNTY/GARDEN CITY GAME FOUR BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/bsb/2015-16/boxscores/20160306_3d1m.xml>

The Saints drop to 7-11 on the year with the sweep and fall in the first conference series of the season for the second straight year. Garden City improves to 17-4 at weekends end and sits third at the end of one weekend of Jayhawk West action at 3-1 in league play.

Next up for the Saints is a trip to Clarendon for non-conference action Wednesday, before returning to Jayhawk West play Saturday and Sunday at Hutchinson who swept a four game series from Pratt to kick off league play.


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