By KEVIN THOMPSON
LAKIN — The Broncs opened their 2011 baseball season in style with a doubleheader sweep over visiting Ulysses, 11-5 and 9-4.
Lakin relied on its bats and solid pitching to begin the season on a high note, while Ulysses was left looking for counter-answers.
The Broncs out-hit the Tigers 17-10 in the two games (nine of those for extra bases), scored in 10 out of 12 innings, and got the leadoff hitter on in 11 of those innings.
Ulysses, on the other hand, scored in only seven of its 14 innings, and the Tigers only managed three hits in one inning in the second game.
In short, it was a good outing for the Broncs, who perennially rely on timely hitting and pitching to dominate western Kansas baseball.
In the first game, Chase Newell's triple and Damian Chavez's groundout scored the Tigers' first run. Then Lakin struck early and often, scoring in every inning.
Down 1-0 in the first, the Broncs used two hit batsmen to set up Bryant Miller, who drove in Gilbert Magallanes. Cody Kinnier followed with a sacrifice fly to drive in Chandon Moreno.
In the second, Lakin sent eight batters to the plate. Logan Litton drove a triple to the leftfield fence to drive in Kevin Dasenbrock. Then, the Tigers' Tyler Watie walked three straight batters, forcing in another run. Miller's groundout gave Lakin a 5-1 lead.
Kinnier drove in three runs, Dasenbrock was 3-of-4 and scored three runs, and Miller was 3-of-4 with two RBI to power the Lakin win.
Swank went the distance for the Broncs, striking out seven Tigers and walking five in the win, making him 7-0 over the past two seasons.
"I'm satisfied with how I threw," Swank said after his outing. "Our defense was pretty solid (helped by two double plays) and we hit the ball well."
Swank said he relied mainly on his two-seam fastball to stymie the Tigers. Going the distance was also one of his goals.
"It helps the team out as long as I'm feeling good," he said. "It saves us pitchers. We're kind of short on players, so this helps."
In the second game, Lakin had three doubles and three triples, and Jordan Rosales used an effective cutter in striking out six and walking only two in five innings for the win.
Magallanes jumped on a 2-2 pitch to lead off with a triple to center, and Moreno drove him in two batters later. Lakin used an error and passed ball to go up 2-1 after the first inning.
A Dasenbrock double in the third plated two more runs, and Rosales drove him in with a triple to left in the next at bat.
Chavez relieved Tiger starter Andy Simpson in the fifth, but he gave up three runs. Miller led off with a first-pitch triple to center and scored on an error. Rosales drove in another run with a double down the leftfield line.
An error and two walks later loaded the bases and a wild pitch gave Lakin its ninth run.
Ulysses' only hits all came in the third, when they scored two runs.
Kiano Sosa led off with an infield single and Brady Klein followed with a single over first. Rosales' throwing error on Felipe Lopez's bunt scored one run.
Lakin coach Steve Davidson was pleased with his team's first games, especially having such a young squad with just one senior on the varsity.
Getting the first pitch for a strike was a key to his pitchers, he said.
"I wasn't sure how we'd come out and play. I wasn't sure how confident the pitchers were going to be," Davidson said. "I'm proud of how they did tonight."
The Broncs' coach said he was happy with how and how often the Broncs scored, always on the attack and without the aid of any home runs.
"If you can manufacture a run here, a run there, that gets the other team down. It gives us the momentum," he said. "We like to play a little small ball, and we have good speed. I feel good about the offense."
On the other side, Ulysses coach Mike Ybarra saw a few good things happen, but overall he was disappointed with his team's output.
"Our defense made a few mistakes early in the first game, but overall I was pleased with the defense," Ybarra said. Hitting, however, was another story.
"We've been hitting the ball well in practice, but tonight for some reason some of our better hitters were struggling," he said.
Lakin 11, Ulysses 5
Ulysses 101 200 1 -- 5 6 3
Lakin 232 121 x -- 11 8 3
Ulysses — Watie, Chavez (7) and Simpson. Lakin — Swank and Litton. WP — Swank (1-0). LP — Watie (0-1).
2B — Dasenbrock. 3B — Newell, Litton, Miller. SB — Simpson, Lopez, Chavez; Miller. LOB — Ulysses 6, Lakin 5.
Lakin 9, Ulysses 4
Ulysses (0-2) 102 010 0 -- 4 3 3
Lakin (2-0) 203 130 x -- 9 9 3
Ulysses — Simpson, Chavez (6) and Higgs; Lakin — Rosales, Dasenbrok (7) and Magallanes, Litton (6). WP — Rosales (1-0). LP — Sanders (0-1).
2D — Dasenbrock, Rosales, Moreno. 3B — Magallanes, Rosales, Miller. SB — Lopez 2, Meierhoff, Rosales. LOB — Ulysses 1, Lakin 6.