The Dodge City Rangers again used strong starting pitching and a big offensive inning to record another win, this time an 8-0 decision over the Larned Indians in the Smoky Ford Wood Bat Invitational.
The Rangers (17-2) earned the pool play top seed and were playing for the championship at 6 p.m. Sunday against an unknown opponent.
Collin Gifford threw a five-inning complete game shut out for the Rangers, giving up three hits and a walk while striking out three. The right-hander hasn't given up an earned run in 17 2/3 innings this summer and is 3-0 with one save.
"I can't say enough for what Collin has done," said Rangers head coach Chris Chilton. "He pitched well again and has done a good job of getting players out and not getting flustered when he's in a little trouble with runners on base."
The Rangers got on the board in the third inning when DylanRoy singles, stole second and later scored on a single by Austin Weiser. Dodge City made it 2-0 in the fourth when Jordan Doan walked, stole second and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Grant Meininger.
The big inning for the Rangers was the fifth as they closed out the game with six runs to end the game by run rules.
Meininger had a RBI double, Gideon Wells and Andrew Balderaz hit RBI singles. Weiser knocked in a run on a fielders' choice, Roy singled and later scored on a wild pitch, and Hunter Ontiberos closed out the game with a run-scoring sacrifice fly after leading the frame with a double to get the Dodge City bats going.
"We started off slow as their pitcher did a good job of keeping us of balance," Chilton said. "The second time around, we were able to get hit because we could figure his timing."