Elier Arreola was a one-man wrecking crew for the Garden City Buffaloes Tuesday evening at Clint Lightner Field.
The senior tossed seven innings of one-run ball against the visiting Dodge City Red Demons, allowing just six hits and one walk, striking out three. If that was not enough, Arreola also provided the game-winning hit, doubling in Aaron Urrutia in the bottom of the sixth after the Demons had drawn even at 1 in the top half.
Arreola tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning to close out the 2-1 win, outdueling Dodge City’s Noah Sowers, who allowed four walks, one run, one earned run and struck out one. Ty Bacon took the loss, allowing three hits, one walk, one strikeout, one run and one earned run.
"He had a heck of a game," GCHS head coach Justin Reich said of Arreola, "both on the mound and driving in the winning run in the sixth. Just a great game from him."
Tuesday was a rare single game, with the Buffs scheduled to make a return trip to Dodge City later in the season to complete the two-game conference set. With the win, the Buffs remained undefeated at 5-0. Dodge City fell to 4-1.
The Buffs got on the board in the second inning, when Rawley Davidson walked to lead off the inning and came around to score five batters later. But that’s all either team could plate until the sixth, with both the Buffs and Demons unable to send more than four batters to the plate per inning.
The Demons finally got on the board when Adrian Mendoza and Cody Ibarra both singled to lead off the inning. After a pop out, Alden Knedler singled to left to plate Mendoza. But Arreola was able to get out of the rest of the inning unscathed, inducing a fielder’s choice groundout and a pop out.
"He kept them off balance all night," Reich said, "and they’re a pretty good hitting team from I saw in their first doubleheader."
The Demons had scored 23 runs in a twin rout of Wichita East to open the season.
To open the bottom of the sixth, Urrutia and Easton Lager both singled. Davidson struck out, but Arreola came through with the clutch double to plate the game-winner.
"We’ve got some things to with out hitting," Reich said. "Our swings are looking good, but we’re still struggling with timing a little bit."
They did just enough Tuesday to get the win.
"Coming into the game, we had our best pregame infield, outfield we had all year," Reich said. "The kids had a lot of energy going into the game with a rival, and they played really well."
Urrutia and Lager peached had two hits, and the Buffs walked five times as a team. Arreola had the only extra-base hit. Mendoza and Knedley had two hits each for the Demons.
W—Arreola. L—Bacon. 2B—Dodge City: Knedler. Garden City: Arreola.