The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Garska fans 14, shuts down Ogallala


Dave Faries

Travis "T.J." Garska delivers a pitch during Tuesday night's contest at Legion Park. Recently returned from Texas, the hurler earned his third win of the year.

Ogallala might have nightmares about T.J. Garska.

If so, they should be forgiven. The Sidney hurler simply overpowered visiting hitters Tuesday night at Legion Park. On his way to a 5-3 complete game win, Garska fanned 14 and walked just one. During one stretch, he struck out five Ogallala batters in a row.

"It doesn't matter how hard you throw as long as it's in the zone," he said.

In support of that statement, Garska cut the strike zone 68 times-68 strikes compared to 21 balls. He shot down three hitters on ten pitches in the fifth, and that was after Garska slapped two Ks on the board in each of the previous innings.

The only blemishes came in the final inning, when Ogallala pushed across a meaningless run, and in the fourth.

With Sidney on top 1-0 after Arik Doty drove home Keaton Wakefield in the second, Garska and the home side appeared to let their guard down. Jake Redinger led off with a little base hit. Garska coaxed the next hitter, Cody Blackwell, into an easy fly to right, corralled by Ben Goble.

But Conner Merrill reached on an error and both runners advanced on a rare wild pitch, bringing Austin Mack to the plate.

"I left it hanging," Garska said. "Hats off-the kid got a good hit."

Merrill's single drove in two runs and briefly handed the lead to Ogallala. But  Garska fanned the next two. And Sidney put together their biggest offensive inning in the bottom half.

It started with back to back walks, drawn by Keaton Wakefield  and Jason Hagerman.

"I was fouling off pitches," Wakefield said. "You do what you have to do."

Although three other Sidney batters-Arik Doty, Bradey Holtz and Mitch Rolls-reached base during the frame, Wakefield and Hagerman both scored on errant pitches. Moments later, Doty also crossed the plate after the ball escaped Ogallala catcher Redinger.

Sidney added another run in the fifth when Goble drove in Scott Phillips on a sacrifice fly. By then, Sidney had driven two Ogallala pitchers from the mound.

"That's important, to get into their second or third pitcher," coach Tim Herrera observed.

Two days earlier, Post 17 had been ten-pointed at McCook, committing almost ten errors along the way. On Tuesday night they booted just one ball and played with renewed confidence.

Behind Garska, the infield of Holtz, Doty, Hagerman and Phillips cut off ground balls and consistently made clean plays. In the third, catcher Kyle Burton alertly cornered a low pitch and whipped it to first to complete a 2-3 strikeout.

With Garska keeping Ogallala's hitters on their heels, the outfield had little work to do.

"We had a good practice on Monday and cleaned everything up," Wakefield said. "I want to play like this the rest of the year."

Wakefield played a prominent role in the Junior's opener, coming on in relief and whiffing an Ogallala hitter with the tying run on base to secure Mitch Rolls' win, 8-7.

The Juniors are back in action on Wednesday in a doubleheader at Legion Park, starting at 4:30 p.m. The Seniors travel to Crete for a Friday-Sunday tournament.


Ogallala 000 200 1 – 3

Sidney 010 310 x – 5




Sidney ab r h

Holtz 3b 2 0 1

Rolls cf 3 0 1

Means ph 1 0 0

Garska p 2 0 0

Phillips 1b 2 1 0

Wakefield lf 1 2 0

Hagerman 2b 2 1 1

Jaggers 2b 0 0 0

Goble rf 1 0 1

Burton c 1 0 0

Doty ss 2 1 0

Sidney Hitting Leaders (Min. 15 AB)


Phillips, Scott 38 12 .316 1 0 0 12 6 2 0 4 9 1

Holtz, Brady 41 12 .293 3 1 0 13 6 7 0 11 10 1

Onstott, Colton 23 6 .261 1 1 0 9 5 0 0 0 3 1

Goble, Ben 18 4 .222 1 0 0 2 3 0 0 2 8 0

Sidney Pitching Leaders (Min. 12 IP)


Harvey, Lane 3 2 0 2 1 14 12 6 1 15 8 6 3.00

Burton, Kyle 2 2 2 0 0 12 7 13 4 11 7 4 2.33

Garska, Travis 3 2 3 0 0 17 8 3 2 28 8 6 2.47


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