Garden falls to Dodge in WAC contest

GCHS Athletics
Garden City High School third baseman Jesse Baltazar comes off the bag to take a throw April 6 against Dodge City at Clint Lightner field.

DODGE CITY - Less than 24 hours after making a comeback in a victory against Liberal, the Garden City Buffaloes’ baseball team suddenly found its bats silenced in what eventually became a 12-2, 6-inning, run-rule loss Tuesday night on the road to rival Dodge City.

The loss dropped the Buffs’ season record to 8-4 and they are 4-4 in the WAC. Dodge City remains atop the Western Athletic Conference at 5-1 and are 11-3 for the season.

Coach Justin Reich’s squad never led in this game, falling behind early by scores of 2-0 and 4-1 after just two innings were in the book. A five-run Dodge City outburst in the fourth made it 9-1 and the Buffs’ hitting went anemic against the Demons’ Aidan Sowers and reliever Matt Friess.

Dodge City jumped on starter Peyton Walters in the bottom of the first with two runs before the Buffs cut the deficit to 2-1 on a Ricardo Almanza RBI single in the second. That, however, was the last time Garden would be close as Dodge added two more runs in the bottom of the second before the 5-run game-deciding inning in the fourth.

The Buffs managed a single run in the top of the sixth, but the Demons responded with three more in the bottom of the sixth and scored the mercy-rule run with two outs to end the game early on the 10-run rule after five innings.

Dodge’s Aiden Sowers and Matt Friess combined to limit the Buffs to just six hits and no extra base hits. The Buffs’ pitching, however, had control issues as Walters issued eight walks while throwing 98 pitches in 3.2 innings. Walters recorded four strikeouts. Iziah Salinas relieved him in the fourth and walked just one while striking out two.

The Buffs will be off the remainder of this week and will travel on Monday, May 3, to play Lamar, Colo., in a doubleheader starting at 5:30 p.m., CDT.

Garden City 010 001 -- 2 6 2

Dodge City 220 503 -- 12 5 0

GC—Walters, Salinas (4) and Acker, Elam (6). DC—Sowers, Friess (5) and Duron. 2B—DC (Rodriguez). LOB—Garden City 10, Dodge City 6.