It was almost the best way the Dodge City Conquistadors baseball team could have hoped to open their 2013 campaign Sunday afternoon as they played nearly flawless in recording a road doubleheader sweep over the Northwestern Oklahoma junior varsity squad.
The Conquistadors beat the Rangers 14-0 in five innings in the opener of the doubleheader and completed the sweep with an 8-4 decision in the nightcap.
"We did the things we talked about that we really felt we needed to do," said DCCC head coach Phil Stephenson. "That was to pitch well and play defense. In the first game, we didn't make any errors and we made two in the second game, but they didn't hurt us because we were able to pitch around them. With the exception of one guy, we pitched really well.
"I think overall for the first time we faced competition, that I was pretty pleased. I think from a hitting standpoint that we still had too many guys hitting underneath the ball, but we didn't strike out in the first game and did a good job of putting the ball in play."
Shay Lynes knocked in six runs against the Rangers, while Jarren Donato went 5-for-6 with three RBI and three stolen bases and Connor Ross scored four times and also stole three bases on the day.
Ross Vance pitched four innings to get the win in the opener. Vance gave up three hits and one walk while striking out six to earn the decision. Sam Brunner walked two and struck out one in his one inning of work in the first game.
The Conqs scored five in the first and nine in the third to record the rout in the opener with seven runs scored with two outs. Lynes went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a home run and three RBIs in the opener; Connor Koepp and Connor Ross had two runs, two hits and two RBIs apiece; and Jarren Donato had two hits, three runs, three stolen bases and a RBI.
"Our guys made some clutch hits and made adjustments at the plate," Stephenson said. "We really jumped on them and stayed on. We spread (the offense) around pretty good the first game."
Walker Rainwater started and recorded the victory in the nightcap. Rainwater gave up only one hit and one walk while striking out three in four innings of work.
Dodge City scored two in the first and three in the third for a 5-0 lead. The Rangers scored four in the bottom of the sixth inning to cut the deficit to one before the Conqs closed out the game with a bases-clearing double by Lynes in the top of the seventh. Donato went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI, while Scott Hillier hit a two-run triple in the third inning
"We did the same thing in game two where we jumped out early, and had a few opportunities to score runs where we failed to get guys home from scoring position in the fourth and fifth innings," Stephenson said. "We had quite a few guys who had good days at the plate between Ross, Lynes and Donato."
The Conqs will host Brown-Mackie today in a 1:05 p.m. doubleheader at Cavalier Field.