The Great Bend Braves allowed Dodge City to accumulate large leads early on in both Class A American League baseball games on Tuesday at Veterans Memorial Park.
The deficits proved too large as the Rangers swept the Braves in the doubleheader, winning 8-2 in the first game and 13-3 in the second.
Dodge City got to Braves starting pitcher Mitch Johnson early in the first game, scoring two runs in the first inning, three in the second and one in the third to go up 6-0.
Andrew Balderez went 3-for-3 to lead the Rangers in Game 1, including two singles and an RBI double.
“Mitch is just struggling to find his rhythm,” Great Bend head coach Jordan Metro said. “He finally made an adjustment up there. His off-speed stuff just was not working at all at the beginning. It kind of came around. He had to make a few adjustments, and he struggled a bit. That’s for sure.”
The Braves struggled against Rangers left-hander James Royle, who kept the Braves scoreless until the third while his team amassed its lead. Royle went three innings and finished with four strikeouts, four hits allowed and two walks.
Johnson pitched all five innings, giving up 11 hits with seven strikeouts and three walks.
Great Bend’s Matt Zecha led the bottom of the third off by getting hit by a pitch, and Logan Zecha drew a walk.
Matt stole third and scored on an RBI single from Tyler Nuss.
Nuss went 2-for-2 with a walk for the Braves.
Shade Wondra drove in Logan with a single to make it 6-2.
“We got some good hits in that inning,” Metro said. “Of course, it’s good when you get runners on base no matter how they get there. We were able to get some runs in, but we just weren’t able to get ourselves out of the hole we dug.”
Dodge City scored two more runs in the fifth.
The umpires imposed a two-hour time limit after the end of the fifth due to the heat.
Great Bend (6-10) hosts Nickerson on Friday at the Sports Complex. The first game of the doubleheader starts at 6 p.m.
Dodge City 13, Great Bend 3
Dodge City took a 1-0 lead after the first on Hunter Ontiberos’ sacrifice fly, scoring Balderez.
The Rangers added two more runs to their lead in the top of the second with Balderez hitting an RBI single and Tyler O’Neal scoring on a wild pitch.
Dodge City scored again in the third on Drew Chance’s RBI single, Braves starting pitcher Nuss walked in a run and a wild pitch scored another.
Balderez drove in a pair of runs with a double and then scored on a past ball before Nuss got Jackson Oldham to ground out to end the inning with the Rangers ahead 9-0.
In the bottom of the third, the Braves scored runs on an RBI double from Tristan Hall and an RBI single from Wondra.
Balderez, who went 4-for-4 in the second game, rocketed a line drive to left-center in the top of the fifth for a three-run double for Dodge City, making it 12-2.
Dodge City scored when Hall, who took over on the mound for Nuss in the top of the fifth, walked a batter with bases loaded.
Nuss scored the final run for the Braves in the bottom of the fifth, but the game ended after five innings due to the run rule.
CLASS A AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL
At Great Bend
Veterans Memorial Park
Dodge City 8, Great Bend 2
123 45 R H E
DC 231 02 — 8 11 0
GB 002 00 — 2 7 3
James Royle, Hunter Ontiberos & Gideon Wells; Mitch Johnson & Jarred Maneth. W — Royle; L — Johnson. 2B — Dodge City: Andrew Balderez, Ontiberos; Great Bend: Tristan Hall.