In an attempt to get revenge for a loss during their inaugural game at the new Demon Field, the Dodge City Red Demon baseball team traveled to Garden City on Thursday for a double-header that had Western Athletic Conference implications. During the Buffaloes 4-1 win against Dodge City a week ago, there were no conference points on the line.


In an attempt to get revenge for a loss during their inaugural game at the new Demon Field, the Dodge City Red Demon baseball team traveled to Garden City on Thursday for a double-header that had Western Athletic Conference implications. During the Buffaloes 4-1 win against Dodge City a week ago, there were no conference points on the line.
     Thursday night was a different story, and the Demons were a different team.
     Behind a complete game shutout from starting pitcher Andrew Balderaz in game one and a red-hot offense, that has been on fire ever since that Garden City loss, the Demons left their rival to the west with a 10-0 and 9-4 sweep.
     It was a much needed couple of victories for the Demons, who were coming off solid performances against Wichita Southeast earlier in the week. One of the key components behind their resurgence has been the life in their bats that has shown up during their four-game winning streak.
     “Our approach has been 10 times better than it has been during these past four games,” said head coach Daniel Rogers. “We’re still striking out too many times at the plate, in my opinion, but we’re also doing a better job of laying off pitches that used to be lazy fly balls for us. Now we’re hitting pitches that are belt-high in the zone, pitches that we’re able to drive in the gaps and drive through the infield for base hits. When we lay off bad pitches and swing at the better ones, good things happen.”
     In game one, Balderaz was on cruise control throughout much of the game. While the Demons were busy piling on runs during the third inning, he was content with mowing down the Buffs lineup from top to bottom. Overall, he finished with five strikeouts while Dodge City was able to close out the game early in the sixth inning.
     As for the finale, the Demons had a little more difficult time slowing down the Garden City roster, but Jordan Doan got the job done, tossing five innings and allowing only three runs. Once again, the Demon bats were alive and well in the second contest, giving the junior pitcher all the run support he would need.
     For Rogers, despite being ahead comfortably throughout both wins, the Demon players were competing as though it was a 1-0 game in the bottom of the seventh, which is something he’s been preaching to this squad since day one.
     “The intensity was there for all 13 innings, the focus was there, and that’s what we’ve been driving through their heads this whole time,” he said. “We want to be focused and compete for 14 innings and be locked in, which is something we did today. We’re going to keep pounding that into their heads, that in order for us to be a good baseball team, we need to be locked in and intense from pitch number one all the way to the last pitch.”
     Next up for the Demons is another WAC road trip to Liberal to take on the Redskins. It is a crucial double-header for Rogers and company, as they look to pounce on conference pitching to set them up with an opportunity to bring home a league title. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.