Red Demon baseball opens season with split
By: Tim Everson
Dodge City High School baseball opened up the 2017 season by splitting a doubleheader with Wichita East 5-1 and 10-15.
The Red Demons started off game one in a big way as senior Luke Royle bombed a lead-off home run over the right-field fence.
Royle also started on the mound for Dodge City and put on a clinic going six and two-thirds innings, recording seven strikeouts and only allowing one run.
“Luke Royle does what he’s supposed to do,” head coach Zach Shipley said. “He’s our number one on the mound, he’s our best hitter and that’s what we expect of him.”
East tied it up in the top of third after Casey Steward hit a pop-up to center field which was lost in the sun bringing Steward to second and the runner home.
Red Demon’s Rylan Allen and Blaine Winans retook the lead in the bottom of the frame, both hitting singles to bring home Kaden Riekenberg and Royle to extend their lead to 3-1.
After the third inning, Royle regained his footing, allowing just one hit in the next two innings before the Blue Aces would put two on with no outs in the top of the sixth with the go-ahead run at the plate.
Dodge City tightened up after that and went 1-2-3 to finish out the inning, successfully fending off Wichita-East.
“I think that’s a big testament to Luke Royle,” Shipley said. “Because when you watch him he exudes that confidence and I think that really
rubs off on those kids.”
The Red Demons piled on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth for good measure as Jake Montgomery brought home runners at second and third, stretching the lead to 5-1.
Whatever scoring deficiencies the Blue Aces showed in the first game they more than made up for in the second game as they started off the game with three straight hits that led to an early three-run lead.
The Red Demons answered with two runs in the bottom of the first thanks to singles by Royle and Derick Blansett.
But, after a sevenrun top of the second by Wichita-East and one run top of the third, the Red Demons found themselves in a 10-run hole and two innings away from getting run-ruled.
The Red Demons fired up a possible comeback in the bottom of third as seven runs crossed the plate cutting the lead to three.
“We were down 12-2 going into the bottom of the third and the young kids could’ve folded,” Shipley said. “And they could’ve been content with winning just the one game but we got some good at-bats.”
Dodge City would add one more run before the end of the game, ending their hopes at a comeback bid while Wichita-East added three more in the sixth and seventh to put the Red Demons away for good.
“In the end, with the way that they came back, I’m happy with the way they played the second
half of that baseball game,” Shipley said.
Dodge City will take on Wichita-South on Friday at home in a doubleheader.