GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Over the course of a long baseball season, a rough skid is bound to happen. The Cloud County Community College baseball team currently finds itself in the midst of one of those streaks as the T-Birds dropped a pair of heartbreakers, 8-7 in eight innings and 6-4, to Garden City Community College on Thursday to open up KJCCC West action.
"They were really competitive conference baseball games and we just couldn't find a way to win them," said Cloud County head coach, Eric Gilliland. "We had a chance to beat one of the better teams in our conference in both games and just couldn't quite get it done. Garden City is as tough of a team as we will find and tough teams win close games."
In Game One, Cloud County (5-7 overall, 0-2 KJCCC) rallied from a 7-4 deficit in the top of the seventh inning to tie the score at 7-7 and force extras.
The T-Birds loaded the bases with no outs and received an RBI hit-by-pitch from sophomore Erik Sabrowski, and RBI sac flies from Tauren Langley and Enrique Gonzalez, who finished 2-for-3 in Game One, to pull even with Garden City (14-6 overall, 2-0 KJCCC).
Unfortunately, in the bottom of the eight, Garden City took advantage of its own bases loaded situation as Corbin Truslow delivered the walk-off RBI single to plate Clint Allen.
In the nightcap, the T-Birds were able to give themselves a brief 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning on a two-run single by Sabrowski and RBI double by Langley.
The momentum swung back in Garden City's favor in the home-half of the inning, though, as the Broncbusters tied the game at 3-3 with a pair of runs.
Garden City then added three more in the bottom of the sixth after Cloud had climbed back on top, 4-3, on a RBI sac fly in the top of the sixth by sophomore Matt Bondarchuk.
"We have to find a way to put some zeros up at the end of the game on the mound to keep momentum on our side," Gilliland said. "Bottom line, in those close games that can go either way, you have to make the winning plays by getting big this and making big pitches."
The T-Birds will look to put the tough week behind them when they return home on Saturday to resume the four-game series with the Broncbusters. Game times are currently scheduled for 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at Lee Doyen Field.
"Right now, things haven't gone our way and have snowballed at times. But that can change in a blink of an eye. Sometimes it just takes one big break. We're still fully capable of doing what we want to this year. We just need to keep competing and find a way to win close games."