DODGE CITY, Kan. – The Dodge City baseball team extended its winning streak to four in a row with a pair of wins over Cloud County, 5-3 and 9-7, Sunday afternoon in Jayhawk Conference action at Cavalier Field.
The Conquistadors improved their record to 19-11 overall and 9-7 in conference play.
“We really needed these wins,” DC3 coach Phil Stephenson said. “Our goal is to win 34 games and set a new school record. That goal is still achievable, but we have a lot of work to do.”
In game one of the double-dip, the Conqs received a strong pitching performance from Russell Mithlo (Anadarko, Okla. /Anadarko HS). The 6-foot-1, 230 pounder tossed 5 1/3 innings and allowed seven hits, two runs and no walks and struck out three to earn the win.
DC3 wasted no time providing run support.
Haden Houska (Enid, Okla. /Enid HS) opened the bottom half of the first with a triple and Jordan Doan (Dodge City, Kan. /Dodge City HS) followed that up with a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0.
The Conqs pushed across two runs in the third, which was highlighted by Conner Koepp’s (Norman, Okla. /Norman HS) solo homerun.
In game two of the twin bill the Conqs’ offense struck early.
DC3 scored two runs in the second and four runs in the third. The Thunderbirds (5-18, 3-9 Jayhawk Conference) added a run in the top half of the fourth, but the Conqs led 6-1 after four complete.
Cloud County added three runs in the seventh, followed by three runs in the eighth, which gave the Thunderbirds a 7-6 lead – its first of the game.
However, the Conqs responded with offense of their own.
Croix Sedillo (Corrales, N.M./Cibola HS) opened the bottom of the eighth with an RBI single to tie it at 7-all. Jerry Lacayo (Colorado Springs, Colo. /Cheyenne Mountain HS) followed that up with a 2 RBI double to give the Conqs the lead.
Giles Fox (Ashland, Kan. /Ashland HS) entered the game in relief and earned the save.
Prior to the four-game series sweep of Cloud County, the Conqs were in the midst of a downward spiral and dropped five in a row, which Stephenson accredited to errors and not being focused. However, Stephenson feels confident about the direction his team is going as it heads into the heart of conference play.
“We are a pretty good team, but we’ve made mistakes that have cost us wins.” Stephenson said. “This team continues to mature and compete and hopefully are best baseball is ahead.”