Pitchers prevail in doubleheader sweep
By Timothy Everson
Run support and really good pitching won the day on Friday as Dodge City High School swept Hays-Thomas Moore Prep-Marian in their doubleheader 6-3 and 3-1.
With the wins, the Red Demons are 5-1 on the season.
Senior Luke Royle put on a show in game one after a rough first inning where he gave up three runs on three hits and walk.
From then he was sterling, going the remaining six innings without letting a single batter on base, retiring 19 straight batters.
“They came out in the first inning and they just absolutely hammered him,” Red Demon head coach Zach Shipley said. “But we had a talk after that first inning about the difference of being a good pitcher and a great pitcher is when you don’t have your best stuff you still come out and find a way to win and Luke said, “You know what, let’s do it.” I was very happy to see him respond.”
The Monarchs starter, Tate Garcia, started the game out strong, retiring the first seven batters of the evening before Dodge started to get to him, recording a single and two walks leaving Royle to ground into a fielder’s choice scoring senior catcher Lucas Hefner to cut the lead to 3-1.
“When Garcia started out he was filling it up,” Shipley said. “When he started to struggle a little bit we took advantage, get people on base and cause havoc on the base paths. Once we get on the base paths, we’re able to do some things.”
The Red Demons would start it back up again in the next inning leading off with a single from senior Rylan Allen before Garcia struck out the next two batters.
With two outs, Dodge City triggered to more walks with the second one including two wild pitches that would advance the runners and score Allen.
Immediately following that, senior Jake Montgomery singled to center field to bring home sophomore Noah Sowers to tie it up.
“That’s one of the things we live by,” Shipley said. “Find a way to get it to the next guy. When there are two outs, do whatever it takes. It wasn’t always pretty but we’ll take it.”
After a strikeout to start the fifth, back to back singles and a walk two batters loaded the bases. Sowers blooped a single to shallow right field that brought home Allen and senior Ryan Armstrong to grab the lead.
“It’s contagious,” Shipley said. “Once one of these guys gets a hit, everyone else is like “Oh, I guess we can hit”. They frustrate me with the way they come out flat. It bit us in the butt again today when we fall behind a team
that’s really good. Luckily, we were able to chip away and take advantage of a few mistakes and get some guys on base.”
The Red Demons added a final run in the bottom of the sixth on a single from Armstrong scored junior Kaden Riekenberg.
In the second game, Sowers was the starter and went the distance, allowing only one run on four hits while six different Demons recorded hits and Hefner, Armstrong and Allen recorded RBIs.
Dodge City will have a week until they head to Hutchinson for their next action.