By John Curtis
Dodge City Daily Globe
The fog that rolled Friday night into Demon Field couldn't help cover the shortcomings of the Dodge City Red Demons in losing both games of a doubleheader to the Wichita East Blue Aces.
The Blue Aces beat Dodge City 10-7; then scored 15 runs in the first two innings of the nightcap on the way to a 21-3 road victory to complete the sweep. The losses were the first two at home on the season.
The Red Demons (10-5) had trouble getting runners across the plate in the first game. Dodge City stranded 13 runners, 10 in scoring position.
The Demons had a good chance to get on the board in the bottom of the first, but stranded runners at second and third base. East answered with two runs on a RBI groundout by Ian Eshelman and a RBI infield single by Jake Ewert.
Dodge City left the base loaded in the third inning and the Blue Aces made them pay again with two more runs in the top of the fourth. Adam Wasson hit a RBI single and then later scored despite getting caught on a delayed double steal on a throwing error.
DCHS got on the board in the bottom of the fourth on a RBI groundout by Austin Weiser, but the Demons again left the bases loaded.
The Demons were able to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. Courtesy runner Jackson Oldham scored on a throwing error during a fielders' choice and Hunter Ontiberos followed with a two-run single.
East (11-1) regained the lead in the sixth inning on another RBI single by Wasson, followed by a grand slam over centerfield hit by Bryce Walker.
Dodge City scored two in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI sacrifice fly by Jordan Doan, and Andrew Balderaz later scored on a throwing error as the Aces tried to get him out at third base. The Demons left runners on at second and third in the inning.
Wasson got his third RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh inning before the Demons tried one more rally; but after Gideon Wells was issued a bases-loaded walk, Dodge City stranded runners at every base to close out the game.
Collin Gifford was the losing pitcher for Dodge City in the opener. Gifford gave up six runs (five earned) in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Relievers gave up the other four earned runs charged to the Demons.
The Aces scored five runs with two outs in the first inning of the nightcap. Danford Winonger hit a RBI single, Nick Griffin followed a two-run single, and Carey Steward hit a two-run triple.
Dodge City scored two runs in the bottom of the first on a RBI single by Arrin Tieben, and Wells scored on a fielding error.
Page 2 of 2 - East scored 10 runs in the second inning: three on passed balls, three on errors, RBI singles by Ewart and Walker, a fielders' choice by Steward, a RBI sacrifice fly by T.J. Sparr.
The Aces scored a run on a double play in the fourth; then got five more in the fifth. Wasson, Winonger, Griffin hit RBI singles, a RBI groundout by Walker, and Sparr induced a bases-loaded walk.
Dodge City's final run came in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI single by Gifford.
Doan was the losing pitcher in the second game.
The Demons' next action will be Tuesday in the final Western Athletic Conference doubleheader of the season at Great Bend. A Dodge City sweep over the Panthers would give the Demons the league crown, while a split will secure a split of the title. The first game is scheduled for 4 p.m.