Rough start for G.C. 9's in state opener
Dodge City blanks host team in rout.
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
An 11-run first inning ignited the Dodge City 9-and-under All-Stars' to a 26-0 win over the Garden City 9's on Friday in the teams' Cal Ripken 9-and-under state baseball tournament opener at Peebles Complex.
Dodge City drew six walks, two hit batsman and one two-run double en route to the big opening frame. Nothing seemed to break Garden City's way. A high pop up in front of the mound could have ended the inning with only a small bit of damage done. Instead, it fell just between the outstretched arms of starting pitcher Zane Burns and catcher Gunner Newberry, allowing two more runs to score and the long inning to continue.
That was all the scoring Dodge City's starter Easton Shenk would need as he allowed only one base runner in his two innings of work, striking out five in the process.
Dodge City scored four more in the second to extend the lead to 15-0, but Garden pitcher Aaron Allen held them scoreless in the third after relieving Burns in the second inning. However, Garden City again could not get anything started at the plate as Sabian Valadez came out of the Dodge City bullpen to pitch a 1-2-3 inning.
Garden threatened in the bottom of the fourth against Valadez, getting three men on base in the inning, but were unable to push any runs in, falling to Dodge City in a four-inning, mercy-rule game.
Shenk earned the win for Dodge City with the outstanding two innings on the mound and a 3-for-5 day at the plate. For Garden City, Kaden Whitehurst reached base in his two plate appearances.
Garden City will be setting its sights on a better result during its doubleheader today. They 9's first take on Parsons at noon in the first game of the day, and then finish off the day with the nightcap against Cimarron River.
In other action in the 9-and-under state tournament, Cimarron River defeated Winfield 11-1 in the tournament opener. Winfield got on the board first as Deshawne Titus led off the game with a hit and later scored. However, it was all Cimarron from there as they scored two in the first, four in the second, two in the third and three in the fourth for the 10-run rule win. Starter Braden Holder received the win for Cimarron.
Parsons squeaked past Paola 6-3 in the second game of the day. Paola led through three innings, taking a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first on Dalton Picek's two-run knock, but Parsons tied it in the fourth and then scored four runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead. Chase Langston's two-run double provided the big hit in the inning. Paola scratched one across in the bottom of the sixth, but it was not enough to regain the lead. Kolton Misener earned the win for Parsons.
Paola bounced back after their loss, however, defeating Winfield 16-6 in the nightcap of day one. Paola jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead after two innings by scoring four in the first and two more in the second. Cruz Dreiling provided the lumber with three RBIs on two singles in the two-inning stretch. Winfield tried to climb back into the game, scoring six runs in the final three innings, but Paola's offense was relentless, scoring at least one run in every inning and putting the game away with five in the fifth and four in the sixth for the victory. Starter Jonaas Sanders picked up the win for Paola, who went 1-1 on the day. Winfield lost both of their games on Friday.
Today's four games begin at noon, 2:15, 4:30 and 6:45 p.m.