There are good offensive games and then there are offensive games like fans at Brent Gould Field saw this weekend. The carousel of runners crossing home plate was so potent that 13 runs wouldnít have won you a single game in the series. After an 111 hit, 98 run four game series, the 1st place Seward County Saints and the 2nd place Garden City Broncbusters were back to square one after a split of both Saturday and Monday doubleheaders.


The series didnít start a whole lot prettier than it ended as the initial pitch of the four game set was planted into Garden leadoff man Cody Schrammís hip and the second baseman would later come around to score and give the Busters a 1-0 lead on a two out double from Axel Rivera. The Saints would strike back in the 2nd inning when Jared Broadbent hit a towering home run over the left field wall for a two run home run to put the Saints up 2-1. After a scoreless 3rd inning the fireworks began in the 4th. A leadoff single for Garden would be followed by a home run from Rivera and a double from Erik Mattingly who would later score and the Broncbusters were up 4-2. Seward would knot the game up in the bottom half of the inning when Broadbent and Todd Glime would hit back to back blasts to make the score 4-4. Just when it looked like the Saints had the momentum rolling their way, the Busters would bat around in the 5th and Mattingly would send the first pitch he saw in his at bat over the center field wall for a three run bomb to put Garden in front 7-4. The Saints would get the tying run to the plate in their half of the 5th with just one out but a strikeout and an infield popup later the Busters were at the plate again and threatening. In the Garden 6th, six of their first seven batters would reach base with three runs being scored with just one hit on the board as Seward pitching failed to find the strike zone and when they did and the ball was put in play, the defense was less than impressive as the Saints would commit a pair of errors while walking two and hitting a man as Garden took a 10-4 lead. The onslaught continued in the Buster 7th as a one out walk would lead to a run and Rivera would launch his second home run of the game to cap a 9-0 run for Garden in the final three innings and after the Saints went down in order in the bottom half of the inning, game one was complete with Garden City winning the tussle 13-4. Cameron Maldonado suffered his first loss in conference play on the mound for Seward throwing 5 innings and allowing 10 hits and 8 earned runs while his counterpart Joey Cifuentes was lights out after giving up 4 runs in the first 4 innings, finishing the game retiring 8 straight batters picking up the win for Garden. Broadbent finished 2 for 3 in the contest with the 2 home runs and 3 RBIís while Glime was the only other Saint to pick up more than 1 hit in the game as he finished 2 for 3 with the home run and 1 RBI.


With the two teams now tied atop the conference standings, the importance of game two on Saturday was amplified for both clubs with each trying to stake their claim to the top of the Jayhawk West for Easter Sunday. The game two box score started nearly identical to game one as Cody Schramm was hit by a pitch to lead off the game for Garden and would later come around to score on a wild pitch this time to make it 1-0 Busters after a half inning of play. The Saints would come back immediately to take their first lead of the game as Kelby Tomlinson would lead off the Saints half with a single and would later score on a double play to tie the game at one and Luke Campbell, Todd Glime, and Ty Jacobs would string together three consecutive singles to score a run and put the Saints up 2-1 just as they had been earlier in the day in game one. Each team would go in order in the 2nd inning but the Busters would tie the game at 2 each in the 3rd after an RBI groundout from CJ Gilman to score third baseman Luke Kordsmeier. The Saints wouldnít let the tie stand for long however as they exploded for a six run 3rd inning on RBI knocks from Josh Dawson, Quay Grant, and Jordan Dallalio as well as a bases loaded bean ball to Chase Whitney and a walk to follow that to Kelby Tomlinson to plate another pair to put Seward up 8-2 after 3 innings of play. Saints starter Logan Hall blanked the Busters in the 4th and allowed his teams to get back to the dish where they scored three more times in the bottom of the 4th after a leadoff home run from Campbell and runs later in the inning from Jared Broadbent and Dallalio to put the guys in green up 11-2. Garden would get a run in the 5th but after a scoreless bottom of the 5th for Seward and top of the 6th for Garden, it was 11-3 Saints after 5 Ĺ. Jacobs led off the Saints 6th with a double and later scored on a single from Dallalio to make it 12-3. Dallalio would find his way to third base after a single from Tomlinson and with the run rule 90 feet away Grant would chop an infield single to give the Saints the 13-3 win after 6. Logan Hall went the distance for the Saints picking up his 4th Jayhawk West Conference win in 5 starts and was supported at the plate by Grant and Campbell who each went 4 for 4 with a combined 4 runs scored and 4 RBIís in the win. Seward outhit Garden 18 to 6 in the victory and 8 of 9 hitters in the Saints lineup had at least one hit. Dallalio finished the game 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBIís while Jacobs and Tomlinson each had 2 hits in the win.


With the split Saturday the teams entered Monday the same place that they entered two days earlier, separated by just one game atop the Jayhawk West standings. Game three started slowly as Seward starter Jose Gonzalez retired the first two batters he saw on just 4 pitches and there were quickly two outs and nobody on base in the Garden first. That is when the trouble got started and after a single and walk behind that, the Busters got on the scoreboard with a double from Erik Mattingly to take a 1-0 lead. They werenít done there unfortunately for Saints fans as Andrew Phelan would follow the double with a 2 RBI single on a 3-2 offering and the Busters were up 3-0 before the Saints came to bat. Seward would put a dent in the scoreboard themselves in the bottom of the first as Kelby Tomlinson singled to lead off and after an error by first baseman Alex Kelley, the Saints had two on and nobody out. Josh Dawson took that opportunity to drive in the pair with a triple off the right center field wall to cut the lead to 3-2 and put himself on third base with nobody out. The Saints strong start stopped there as after a pair of check swing groundouts and a called strike three, Dawson remained at third when the inning ended and the Saints found themselves behind by that 3-2 mark after 1. Garden was at it again in the 2nd as they took advantage of a one out error to score three runs and take a 6-2 lead as the Saints came to bat in the 2nd. After their leadoff man was retired, the Saints had eight straight batters reach base and five straight score as the big blow again came off of the bat of Dawson who narrowly missed a grand slam with a double off the top of the center field wall to clear the bases and tie the game at 6 apiece. Luke Campbell followed Dawsonís triple up with a double to score him and was later moved around to third base after back to back walks. The bases were now chucked again with just one out but Seward could not keep the pressure on the Busters and after back to back strikeouts, left the bases loaded to end the inning but did hold a 7-6 advantage after 2. Garden wouldnít stay down for long however as the first eight batters of the inning reached base culminating in luckily just four runs as the Saints were able to pick up three outs unconventionally on the base paths and keep the Buster lead to just 10-7. Seward would keep on fighting though and a leadoff bean ball to right fielder Daniel Bruce would spark a five run rally for the Saints. Josh Dawson would pick up another extra base hit with yet another double off the wall to plate Bruce and an RBI single from Campbell and a two run bomb from Todd Glime would cap the inning and put the guys in green in front 12-10. Mattingly homered to start the Garden 4th but that is all the Busters would get in the inning and the Saints would hold onto the one run 12-11 lead after 3 Ĺ. The Saints would go quietly in the 4th and Garden City would take advantage in their next at bats as some sloppy Saints defense and an Axel Rivera double would plate three and Seward again found themselves behind, this time 14-12. Jordan Dallalio would get a two out RBI single in the bottom of the 5th to make it 14-13 and Daniel Bruce would line a 2-1 pitch over the left field fence to tie the game at 14 in the 6th and the game was all knotted up after 6 innings of play. After Saints reliever Tyler Hill struck out back to back hitters to open up the 7th, things were looking up for the Saints but after a two out error on the infield Garden had two on and two outs with first baseman Alex Kelley coming to the plate. It looked as if Hill was going to get out of the inning after he got a first pitch can of corn off the bat of Kelley but the Seward outfield seemingly didnít want anything to do with the would be third out of the inning and the ball fell to the outfield turf to score two runs and extend the Garden half of the inning. Two batters later Kelley would be driving in to give the Busters a 17-14 lead and all the momentum as the Saints came to hit with their last three outs to work with. Glime would single to start the inning and Jared Broadbent would walk with one out as the Saints brought the tying run to the plate. After a strikeout and a fly out to left field, the Saints rally was shot down and Garden escaped game three with a 17-14 victory to again knot themselves and the Saints at the top of the Jayhawk West standings. When all the dust settled there were 31 runs, 29 hits, 13 walks, 8 hit batters, 8 wild pitches, and 7 recorded errors in the game with a combined 11 pitchers used for the two sides in the 7 inning affair. Dawson was the star at the plate for the Saints going 3 for 3 with a triple, 2 doubles, 3 runs scored, and 6 RBIís in the contest. Campbell and Glime had identical lines as each went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIís and a run scored in the game. Garden got a consistent effort from their entire lineup as their 2 through 7 hitters recorded 2 RBIís each in the game with Gilman and Mattingly ending the game with 4 hits each.


The game line for game four was much the same as for game two just two days earlier as the teams were again tied in the standings with this game being the tiebreaker in the last time the two would see each other during the 2010 regular season. Amazingly neither team scored in the 1st inning but the Busters would get on the board in the 2nd as an Erik Mattingly single followed by an Andrew Phelan double and Alex Kelley home run would put Garden up 3-0. The Saints couldnít push a run across in their half of the 2nd and the Busters extended their lead to 6-0 after a two run home run from CJ Gilman and back to back doubles from Mattingly and Phelan. Just when you thought the Saints might have used everything they had in the game three loss, the light switch flipped. The first six Seward hitters of the inning reached base including RBI hits from Quay Grant, Luke Campbell, and Kevin Domzralski to score five Saints runs. They werenít near done in the inning however as they hit all the way through their lineup with Jared Broadbent, Chase Whitney, Kelby Tomlinson, Grant, and Campbell picking up RBIís the second time through. When all was said and done the Saints scored 11 runs on 11 hits in the inning with the five batters getting multiple at bats in the inning going 9 for 10 with 8 RBIís and 8 runs scored. With the Saints putting up 11 in the 3rd to take the 11-6 lead it was somewhat unbelievable when neither team could muster anything in the 4th and so to the 5th inning they went with the score still 11-6 Seward. Yet another leadoff walk followed by back to back doubles would highlight a three run Garden 5th but the Saints were ready to put another crooked number up in the bottom half of the inning when it was their turn. The top of the lineup was at it again as Tomlinson was hit to open the inning and was quickly driven in on a double from Grant to make it 12-9 Saints. Dawson doubled behind Grant and Campbell and Domzralski were hit by pitches to force home a run and the Saints had the bases loaded and no outs already with a 13-9 lead. Jordan Dallalio would single to drive home a pair and a groundout by Broadbent would give Seward their 5th run of the inning and put them up 16-9. CJ Gilman continued to torment the Saints pitching staff and slammed a three run shot in the 6th to put yet another three spot on the board for Garden in the inning and chipped into the Saints lead at 16-12. Seward would get a pair of sacrifice flies in the bottom half of the inning to score their 17th and 18th runs of the game and the Busters would get one in the 7th to make it 18-13 Seward as the fans at Brent Gould Field got a well deserved 7th inning stretch. Garden would get a pair of runs in the 8th inning but failed to push a run across after that despite having the bases loaded and no outs in the inning. A two out single from Tyler Hill would score Dawson in the 8th to add an insurance run and the guys in green were up 19-15 as Garden came to bat in the 9th. With the meat of the Buster order coming up fans at Brent Gould Field werenít sure if the four run advantage would hold up but Seward sophomore reliever Quay Grant was ready to make sure it would and after a devastating change up to fan Gilman, Grant got Axel Rivera to pop up and Mattingly to swing through strike three to end the ballgame and give the Saints the 19-15 win. For the second straight game the final numbers were mind boggling; 34 runs on 38 hits, 14 doubles, 7 hit batters, 10 pitchers used, and a partridge in a pair tree. Grant was the star at the plate and on the mound for Seward as the sophomore went 3 for 5 with 5 RBIís and 3 runs scored in the contest while closing out the game on the bump picking up his first save of the season. Dawson finished 4 for 5 with 5 runs scored capping a day in which he reached base in each of his 11 plate appearances in the double header. Campbell picked up 3 hits in the contest as well as driving in 3 runs while Whitney, Dallalio, Tomlinson, and Eddie Williams all finished with 2 hit games. Ty Jacobs picked up the win on the mound for Seward throwing 3 quality innings in relief of starter Paul Pulley while Jace Moore tossed an inning and a third allowing just 1 run while posting a hold. Mattingly tried getting himself off the hook for the loss on the mound at the plate by going 4 for 6 with 4 runs scored but the sophomore couldnít outdo the 11 runs he gave up in just 2 2/3 innings on the hill as he was tagged with his first loss of the season and had his ERA more than double from 2.48 entering the game to 5.61 when he came out of the contest. Gilman finished 2 for 5 with the 5 RBIís on the 2 home runs and Phelan and Kelley combined to go 5 for 8 with 5 RBIís in the loss.


The offensive numbers for the series were staggering with nearly 25 runs and 28 hits recorded per game with many players on each side putting up amazing numbers. Luke Campbell hit .588 in the series driving in 6 runs while Josh Dawson hit .563 with 6 extra base hits and 7 RBIís in the four games. Quay Grant and Todd Glime both hit an even .500 in the series with Grant driving in 8 and Glime driving in 4 with a double and 2 home runs while playing just three games. For Garden, Erik Mattingly hit .556 with 5 doubles and 2 home runs while driving in 7 and CJ Gilman hitting a .529 clip with a pair of doubles and home runs with 9 RBIís. Axel Rivera hit .467 with 4 doubles and 2 home runs and tied Gilman for the team lead with 9 RBIís on the weekend.

The split makes the Saints 19-18 on the year and 15-5 in Jayhawk West action. They remain in 1st place one game ahead of Garden City and Butler who both finish the weekend at 12-4. Next up for Seward is another Jayhawk West rival in Hutchinson this weekend at Hobart Detter Field in Hutchinson on Saturday and Sunday with double headers starting at 1:00.