Great Bend Chiefs reliever Paco Hernandez solved the riddle of Dodge City hitter Aaron Trent. Hernandez struck out the red-hot Trent for a 3-2 victory in Wednesday's baseball nightcap.
Great Bend coach Randy Beck was happy to earn a split in hard-fought doubleheader after losing 13-4 in Wednesday's opener.
"Our pitching was good except for one inning," Beck said. "We kept the ball down."
Beck was impressed with Dodge City.
"Dodge City's a pretty good team," Beck said. "Their pitching was really good. They are solid all-around."
The Chiefs (11-9) journey to Junction City Friday for a three-day tournament.
CHIEFS 3, RANGERS 2 (G2) – Dodge City pitcher Erubiel Duran baffled the Chiefs for five innings keyed by a sharp-breaking curveball. The Chiefs touched Duran for three sixth-inning runs. Townshend Kurth's single scored Einar Vargas and Layton Holden for a 2-2 tie after back-to-back walks. Kurth scored when Brad Beck hustled out a topped by diving for first base for a 3-2 lead.
Defense keyed the Rangers as catcher Esteben Garcia threw out Kurth in the first inning. Duran picked off Mathew Moeder in the fifth inning.
Dodge City's Garcia doubled home Aaron Trent in the first inning. Trent singled home Damian Rodriguez in the fourth inning for a 2-0 lead.
Beck's second-inning leadoff double was wasted when Duran struck out Mathew Moeder and Gavin Haberman.
Relievers Chayse Gruber and Hernandez held the Rangers in check after starter Layton Holden worked three innings.
RANGERS 13, CHIEFS 4 (G1) – The Dodge City Rangers busted open a tight opener with a nine-run seventh inning for a 13-4 baseball victory over the Great Bend Chiefs. Dodge City's Tyler Gonzales capped a nine-run inning with a three-run homer as well as pitching the seventh inning. The Rangers delivered six hits, drew two walks, a hit batter and an error that started the inning off hard-luck Chiefs' starter Colin Hall.
"Colin Hall kept them off balance and threw a good game," coach Beck said. "He hung in there and competed. Our defense was shaky tonight. We gave them several errors to keep innings going."
Dylan Smith dropped an RBI squeeze bunt. Damian Rodriguez and Aaron Trent hit sacrifice flies. Esteban Garcia drilled an RBI double followed by Gonzales' three-run blast. Erubiel Duran hit an RBI double and scored the ninth run.
The Chiefs hung within 4-3 through six innings. Jade Poe was the hitting star with three hits and a pair of doubles. Poe scored on Mathew Moeder's second-inning groundout. Poe doubled home Colin Hall and Brad Beck singled in Poe in the fifth inning. Poe drilled back-to-back doubles, but was tagged out by third baseman Aaron Trent leading off the fourth inning.
Dodge City's Rodriguez reached on an error and scored on a first-inning error. Rodriguez singled home Dawson Taylor and Garcia singled home Aaron Trent in the third inning. Trent singled home Taylor for a 4-1 lead after 41/2 innings.
RANGERS 13, CHIEFS 4
Dodge City 102 010 9 – 13 15 0
Great Bend 010 020 1 – 4 8 4
Friess, Taylor (4), Gonzalez (6) and Garcia. Hall, Spray (7) and Beck. W–Friess. L–Hall. 2B–GB–Poe 2; DC–Garcia, Knedler, Whitman, Duran. HR–DC–Gonzalez.
CHIEFS 3, RANGERS 2
Dodge City 100 100 0 – 2 5 1
Great Bend 000 002 x – 3 7 0
Duran and Garcia. Holden, Gruber (4), Hernandez (7) and Beck. W–Gruber. L–Duran. Sv–Hernandez. 2B–GB–Beck; DC–Garcia, Trent, Gonzalez.
JUNCTION CITY ROUND ROBIN BASEBALL
FRIDAY G1–Great Bend Chiefs vs. Hutchinson, 6 p.m.; G2–Junction City vs. Wichita
SATURDAY G3–Great Bend vs. Junction City, 10 a.m.; G4–Junction City vs. Hutchinson, noon; G5–Hutchinson vs. Pratt, 2; G6–Pratt vs. Wichita, 4
SUNDAY G7–Great Bend vs. Pratt, 10; G8–Junction City vs. Pratt, noon; G9–Great Bend vs. Wichita; 2; G10–Hutchinson vs. Wichita, 4