BY JIM MISUNAS
Outside of one error-filled inning, the Great Bend Chiefs pitchers controlled the tempo with a doubleheader sweep over Dodge City 9-4 and 3-0 Wednesday at the Great Bend Sports Complex.
The Chiefs’ relievers threw 71/3 innings of shutout baseball to preserve pitching for a weekend tournament at Buhler and McPherson. The Chiefs (8-2) play the Kansas Senators at 11 a.m. Friday at Buhler.
First-game reliever Jade Poe worked 31/3 innings. Second-game reliever Edwin Chavez (1-1) and Paco Hernandez combined for four shutout innings. Chavez struck out Matt Friess and Caleb Miles to strand two baserunners in the nightcap.
“We wanted to be ready for the weekend,” said Chiefs coach Randy Beck. “Chavez threw well and pitched in the zone. His curveball was breaking so much it was almost too good.”
CHIEFS 9, DODGE CITY 4 (G1) — Ellinwood lefthander Tyler Stuhlsatz (3-1) pitched solidly, yielding no earned runs in 32/3 innings. The Chiefs rapped out 14 hits in a solid batting performance. Second baseman Bradley Hopkins relayed to shortstop Chavez for a 6-4-3 fifth-inning double play on Matt Friess.
Poe doubled and scored on a first-inning error. Chavez raced home on Bradley Hopkins’ second-inning sacrifice bunt. Joseph Moeder scored on a sacrifice fly by Stuhlsatz for a 3-0 lead.
Four errors and a pair of bunt singles paved the way for Dodge City’s four-run fourth inning. Six consecutive batters reached base without the ball leaving the infield in a wild inning. Aaron Trent scored on Miles’ infield single. Miles and Geo Garcia scored on an infield error after Remington Miller reached safely on a bunt. Miller scored on Tucker Smith’s perfect bunt single for a 4-3 lead.
The Chiefs responded in a three-run fourth inning. Brad Beck hustled for an infield single and scored on a wild pitch. Joseph Moeder delivered brotherly love when his sacrifice fly scored his brother Mathew Moeder. Chavez scored on an error for a 6-4 lead.
Beck’s fifth-inning single scored Hernandez. Stuhlsatz singled home Hopkins, who reached on a nifty bunt single. Poe scored on a Hernandez sacrifice fly.
CHIEFS 3, DODGE CITY 0 (G2) — Catcher Brad Beck earned Defensive Most Valuable Player honors by throwing out three baserunners. Beck delivered the game’s signature defensive play when he threw out Remington Miller after a leadoff second-inning double. Beck preserved the shutout when he threw out Tucker Smith at third base to end the inning. Miller didn’t learn his lesson very well when Beck threw him out at second base on an attempted steal.
Stefan Spray drilled a three-run first-inning homer to left field after Stuhlsatz reached on an error and Hernandez walked off Dodge City pitcher Matt Friess. Stefan Spray worked three scoreless innings.
Chiefs’ reliever Chavez (1-1) baffled Dodge City with his sharp curveball wth five strikeouts in three innings.
Dodge City 000 400 0 — 4 5 2
Great Bend 120 312 x — 9 14 5
Trent, Keck (6) and Garcia. Stuhlsatz, Poe (5) and Poe, Beck (5). W—Stuhlsatz, 3-1. L—Trent. 2B—GB—Hernandez 2, Poe, Chavez.
Dodge City 000 000 0 — 0 4 1
Great Bend 300 000 x — 3 3 3
Friess, Miller (6) and Garcia. Spray, Chavez (4), Hernandez (7) and Beck. W—Chavez, 1-1. L—Trent. 2B—GB—Hernandez; DC—Miller. HR—GB—Spray.
GREAT BEND CHIEFS (8-2)—W Dodge City 3-2 (W Spray 1-0); L Dodge City 4-7 (L Stuhlsatz 0-1); W Larned 5-4 (W Koelsch 1-0); W Larned 4-3 (W Poe 1-0); L Hays Eagles 7-9 (L Chavez 0-1); W Hays Eagles 3-2 (W Stuhlsatz 1-1); W Chiefs 8, SK Elite 0 (W Stuhlsatz 2-1); W Chiefs 10, Larned 0 (W Spray 2-0); W Dodge City 9-4 (W Stuhlsatz 3-1); W Dodge City 3-0 (W Chavez 1-1)