DODGE CITY, Kan. — It wasn’t pretty, but the Dodge City High School baseball team opened up the 2019 season with two wins on Saturday afternoon over Wichita East at Demon Field.
Dodge City won the first game 14-13 and the second 9-8. Both games came down to the bottom of the 7th inning.
The Red Demons struck for two quick runs in the bottom of the first in game 1. The Blue Aces then cut the DC lead in half quickly in the top of the second, but Dodge City had an answer in the bottom half. Damian Rodriguez led off the inning with a single and then would move to third on two ground ball outs. Cody Ibarra singled to center to score Rodriguez and get the two-out rally going. Alden Knedler followed with an RBI single to plate Ibarra and then Erubiel Duron plated Knedler and Noah Sowers with a double.
Dodge City added two more in the third after East had pulled within two with a three-run third inning. The Blue Aces continued to crawl back into the game and would tie it up later on in the top of the 7th inning on a two-run home run from Casey Steward. So, tied up at 13 and going to the bottom half of the inning, Dodge City needed just one run. They would get that after Steward threw down to third trying to gun down Duron stealing. The throw from Steward went into left field, as Duron touched home to end game one in wild fashion.
After all of the excitement in the first game, nobody knew what to expect in game two.
East grabbed the first lead in the top of the second when they plated two runs. Dodge City responded with four runs of their own to take the 4-2 lead. The big hit came off the bat of Sowers, as he hit a line drive double down the left field line. The Red Demons also got help from three walks in the inning.
The Blue Aces added three more runs between the third and fourth innings to go up 5-4. Dodge City plated four more runs in the fourth to go up 8-5. Wichita East’s Steward crushed another two-run home run to pull them within one going to the sixth inning. They would get that run in the sixth to tie it up at 8 apiece. The Red Demons held the Blue Aces scoreless in the top of the seventh and had another chance at walking it off.
Matt Friess led off the inning with a walk, and then the first pitch to Ty Bacon was a strike, but Steward tried to pick off Friess at first, but his throw went into right field, so Friess moved up to third with no outs and DC needing just one run. The Blue Aces would intentionally walk Bacon and then would do the same to Rodriguez, still no outs and Wyatt Childress at the plate. The first pitch to Childress was a fastball square in the back, as Dodge City would win on a walkoff hit-by-pitch.
East — 0 1 3 1 4 2 2 — 13 12 5
Dodge — 2 4 2 3 0 2 1 — 14 16 3
W: Matt Friess (1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 K, 2 BB)
L: Ben Waliczek (1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 K, 2 BB)
East — 0 2 1 2 2 1 0 — 8 7 2
Dodge — 0 4 0 4 0 0 1 — 9 6 1
W: Ty Bacon (4.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 K, 2 BB)
L: Brayden Armstrong (2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 4 BB)