The Conquistadors scored a total of 26 runs on 29 hits in their two game sweep of Pratt.
Dodge City Community College pitched into a very strong win and prevailed as the Conquistadors swept their doubleheader on Friday, 12-4 and 14-2, in the first half of their four-game series with Pratt.
Both starters went all seven innings with freshman game one starter Tommy Knowlton (5-2) giving up four runs on five hits with five strikeouts and sophomore game two starter Hayden Davey (2-1) gave up only two runs on three hits, both of which being solo homers, and 12 strikeouts.
“On a day like today when the wind was blowing like crazy and the ball was carrying and the outfielders have to play deeper both guys were exceptional in my estimation,” Stephenson said. “We only gave up six runs on the day and two solo home runs. I thought the guys kept going out and putting up zeros when they needed to.”
The wins move Dodge City to 27-13-1 on the season and 14-8 in KJCCC play.
Offensively, the Conquistadors were on it throughout both games recording 29 total hits with five of those being home runs.
While success with the long ball was great, Stephenson was more pleased with the solid contact his team was able to get, something that was sorely missing in last weekend’s losses at Hutchinson.
“I was more happy with the fact of how we squared the ball up and hit a lot more line drives,” Stephenson said. “Except for a couple of balls, I thought we squared it up quite a bit. Those are things we talked about that we needed to be better at and work on and I thought we did a good job of that.”
Freshman second baseman Brayden Cook had the only homer of game one in the sixth inning but in game two freshman left fielder Cade Engle hit two solo knocks in the fifth and sixth innings, sophomore designated hitter Richard Fullerton had a solo homer in the sixth and sophomore first baseman Talon Schaller added another home run to his team-leading 13 homers on the season with a grand slam in the second (Schaller’s second of the season).
“That helped blow the game open and allowed everyone to settle down a little bit and focus on the task is at hand,” Stephenson said. “Also it’s good to see our guys go back onto the mound after we’ve scored runs and put up zeros. It’s probably the most important thing.”
The Conquistadors will reload and hit the diamond again today at 1 p.m. for the final two games of the series. Dodge City is in a tight race to be one of the top four teams in the league so they can host a first round playoff game.
“They understand what’s at stake,” Stephenson said. “The opportunity to catch Hutch is going to be very minimal after losing four games to them last weekend but our goal is to still be in the top four and get a home playoff game. To do that, we’ve got to keep winning. We’ve got 10 league games left to go and I think it’s probably going to take 20 wins to be able to make sure you host a first round playoff game.”