The Dodge City Conquistadors dominated play in both games of a doubleheader at Cavalier Field, recording a combined no-hitter against the Brown Mackie Lions in a 13-0 victory, then closing out the twinbill with a 10-0 win with both games only going five innings.Spencer Bidwell and Mike Rusk combined for the no-hitter in the first game, while Jagger Harjo and Chase Wilson gave up only two hits with no errors committed by the Conqs in the nightcap.
It is about the best way the Dodge City Conquistadors baseball team could start their season home campaign according to DCCC head coach Phil Stephenson. The Conqs have given up only four runs and recorded three shutouts in their four wins to open the season.
"It's all about pitching and defense," Stephenson said. "We are going to face better people when we go on this road trip and when we play in the conference, no doubt about it; but this is the kind of start we'd hope we could get on to. We were able to give guys opportunities to get on the field and get some at-bats. We're still not completely set on getting a full lineup set, but that's what these first 10 games are all about for us.
"There's really not that much to complain about when you score 23 runs and you don't give up any, give up only two hits and play error-free baseball. You don't have those very often and I'm pretty happy today."
Jarren Donato highlighted the Conqs' at the plate in the opener by going 3-for-4 with two runs and a grand slam in an eight-run second inning. Donato said he and a number of players are seeing the ball well early in the season. Donato said each of the Conqs know their role on the squad and that everyone is playing as a team and not individuals.
"I'm not too surprised with how we're doing early," Donato said. "We had some great arms coming in and we had a great fall." On the grand slam, Donato added: "The ball has been looking like a beach ball to me lately, so it was a first-pitch fastball and I just turned on it. I just went up to the plate and tried to hit it hard anywhere."
Haden Houska was 2-for-3 with three RBIs as well in the win.
Shay Lynes led the Conqs in the nightcap with a three-run home run to complete a five-run first inning. Chris Ramsey and Conner Koepp also knocked in two runs in the second game to complete the sweep.
Stephenson said the Conqs understand that they aren't going to be a team that generates big power numbers as they have the previous two seasons, but the competition among the players wanting to get out on the field can't do anything but help bring out the best in everyone on the team.
"We do have some guys who can hit plug gaps and run, and I like the fact we can do that," Stephenson said. "This team has a little identity and swagger about them, but they have to understand things are going to get tougher as we go.
"The main (issue) I talked about with them today is that they must come to improve each day. We have a lot more depth than we've had on the mound both offensively and defensively. There's going to be some guys who are going to find their way to the top, but we have guys behind them who are going to push (the starters) and that's only going to make everybody better."