In a Class 6A regional baseball championship game Thursday night, Goddard High School pitcher Devin Welch fired a two-hit shutout, outdueling Dodge City ace Ty Thomas in a 4-0 victory at Demon Field.

    The Red Demons, who entered the regional tournament with a .377 team batting average, simply couldn’t get to Welch. As a result, they came one win shy of advancing to the state tournament for the first time since the 2006 campaign.

    “We were only one win from reaching our third goal, the most important one,” said first-year Dodge City head coach Daniel Rogers, “and we ran into a good Goddard team with a good pitcher on the mound.

    “Our kids came out and played hard and did everything we asked of them. We just  couldn’t string anything together. and that’s the way this game is. You  never know. We gave ourselves some chances, but we just couldn’t quite get it done tonight.”

    Welch, who improved to 5-0, entered the game with a 1.88 earned run average. He displayed pinpoint control, striking out six and not allowing a walk until the seventh.

    “I give all the credit to their pitcher,” Rogers said of Welch, a junior righthander. “He was throwing hard, kept us off-balance and did a nice job when we got guys on base and taking us out of the inning.

    Goddard (15-6) advances to the state tourney next Friday and Saturday in Lawrence at Hoglund Stadium on the University of Kansas campus.


In a Class 6A regional baseball championship game Thursday night, Goddard High School pitcher Devin Welch fired a two-hit shutout, outdueling Dodge City ace Ty Thomas in a 4-0 victory at Demon Field.
    The Red Demons, who entered the regional tournament with a .377 team batting average, simply couldn’t get to Welch. As a result, they came one win shy of advancing to the state tournament for the first time since the 2006 campaign.
    “We were only one win from reaching our third goal, the most important one,” said first-year Dodge City head coach Daniel Rogers, “and we ran into a good Goddard team with a good pitcher on the mound.
    “Our kids came out and played hard and did everything we asked of them. We just  couldn’t string anything together. and that’s the way this game is. You  never know. We gave ourselves some chances, but we just couldn’t quite get it done tonight.”
    Welch, who improved to 5-0, entered the game with a 1.88 earned run average. He displayed pinpoint control, striking out six and not allowing a walk until the seventh.
    “I give all the credit to their pitcher,” Rogers said of Welch, a junior righthander. “He was throwing hard, kept us off-balance and did a nice job when we got guys on base and taking us out of the inning.
    Goddard (15-6) advances to the state tourney next Friday and Saturday in Lawrence at Hoglund Stadium on the University of Kansas campus.
    Thomas, a senior, who lost for only the second time in eight decisions this season allowed only two runs through the first four inning. The DCHS career wins leader (16), Thomas totaled five strikeouts and allowed just six hits to the Lions’ potent offense.
    Goddard seized a 1-0 in the second. Levi Miller led off with a double and Gabe Cook later drove him in with an RBI groundout.
    There was a controversial baserunning call that went against the Demons. DCHS catcher BJ Tieben appeared to have thrown out Miller trying to steal third as Dylan Roy was waiting at the bag and put down the tag on Miller as he slid into the base.
    But the third-base umpire called Miller safe, much to the chagrin of Rogers, his players and the Demons’ fans
    “There’s not much I can say,” said Rogers, who argued close calls on the basepaths on three different plays during the game.         “They make the calls and we have to live with them. I was upset a couple times tonight, and I let it be known.
    “You can’t worry about it. You’ve have to move on and try to make the next pitch.”
    Goddard made it 2-0 in the fourth after James Watkins reached on a three-base error on a dropped fly ball by Zach Harvey in right field. Watkins scored on Cook’s triple to right field
    Meanwhile, Welch retired the first 10 batters he faced before Thomas broke up Welch’s no-hitter with a one-out single in the fourth. But the next two batters were retired on groundouts as the Demons came away empty.
    The Lions added two more runs in the fifth to build their lead to 4-0. Meyer had an RBI single in the inning and the other run crossed the plate on a DCHS error, one of two in the inning for the Demons.
    The Demons, the Western Athletic Conference champions, close their memorable season at 14-8.

Semifinal
Goddard 8, Derby 1
    Goddard’s Torrence Stoffregen staged his own Home Run Derby at the expense of Derby.
    The Johnson County Community College signee homered three times and drove in seven runs in Thursday’s regional lid-lifter at Demon Field
    The left-handed-hitting Stoffregen finished 3-for-4 at the plate. He hit a towering three-run homer over the right-field fence in the second inning, a carbon-copy two-run shot in the fourth and a line-drive two-run homer to right in the sixth.
    Stoffregen had homered only twice entering regional play.
    Cameron Fisher pitched six scoreless innings for the Lions (15-6).
    Derby closes its season at 9-12.

Semifinal
Dodge City 12,
Wichita Southeast 2 (4 1/2)
    Senior right-hander Steven Mills scattered five hits in a complete game, and third baseman Dylan Roy doubled twice and had three RBIs to lead the Red Demons.
    Dodge City rolled into the regional title game after scoring three runs in the second, one in the third and eight in the fourth.
    After Southeast went ahead 2-0 in the top of the second Roy had a run-scoring double and Josh Ginther lifted a sacrifice fly to right, giving the Demons a 3-2 lead after two full innings.
    Dodge added a single run in third for a 4-2 after Jared Helfrich hit a sacrifice fly to center, driving in Zach Harvey, who started the inning with a walk.
    It became a complete meltdown for Southeast in the fourth. The Demons scored eight runs on three hits as they capitalized on six Southeast errors.
    Coupled with Southeast’s miscue’s, Dodge’s Nick Brady and Thomas had run-scoring singles and Roy had a two-run double in the fourth to send the Buffaloes (5-16) reeling.