The Dodge City Red Demons opened up their home schedule with hot arms on the mound and hot bats at the plate in recording a doubleheader sweep over the Wichita South Titans.
The Red Demons beat the Titans 11-1 in the first game of the twinbill, and then followed that with an 11-0 victory in the nightcap. Both games went five innings.
"We saw the ball well and we've been working hard in practice," said senior centerfielder Jordan Doan. "The coaches have been helping and they've helped us out at the plate."
Collin Gifford and Andrew Balderaz threw five-inning complete games for the Red Demons (3-1).
Gifford gave up one unearned run in the fourth and one hit in the opener. He struck out six and walked two in getting the win. Balderaz gave up four hits and three walks while striking out four in picking up the shutout in the nightcap.
The Demons' pitching staff has played four games — all complete game efforts — and given up four runs (only one earned) in 24 innings of work. Dodge City head coach Daniel Rogers said it's pretty simple why the hurlers are doing so well early.
"I feel like a lot of it comes down to experience," Rogers said. "We have four starters who were starters for us last year, so they already know what to do because they have the experience on the mound."
If there is one area the Demons need to improve on, it is defense. Dodge City committed seven errors in the game, but were able to make the plays or have the pitchers throw out of jams to keep runs off the board.
"We've got to get better defensively," Rogers said. "The main thing is that when Collin and Andrew pitch, we put guys in that are inexperienced. We just have to do a lot of repetitions so they'll get better."
The Red Demons scored in every inning of the first game and spent as much time inducing walks as hits. Although Dodge City had only five hits, the team scored a number of runs with the help of 12 walks issued, many with the bases loaded.
Gifford was officially 0-for-1 at the plate, but earned three runs batted in; while Doan was 1-for-1 with four runs scored. Freshman catcher Gideon Wells and second baseman Arrin Tieben went 1-for-2 with two RBIs apiece.
Dodge City didn't get a strong start in the second game, not scoring in the first two innings. The Demons started getting to the Titan pitchers in the third inning with five runs in the third, two in the fourth and four in the final frame.
Doan went 3-for-4 with three doubles and four RBIs, while Wells went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Austin Weiser was 3-for-4 with a run and RBI.
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