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SPOTLIGHT
Monarchs swept by Dodge

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Monarchs swept by Dodge

Published on -7/12/2012, 9:51 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

The Hays Monarchs played well Wednesday in their final home games of the season, but Dodge City just played a little better.

The Monarchs got swept, 5-4 in nine innings and 5-3, by Dodge City at TMP Field.

"We played good baseball tonight," Monarchs coach Dustin Schumacher said. "It just didn't result in any wins."

The Monarchs (12-10) hit the ball decently, but couldn't string enough hits together in either game. They had eight hits to Dodge City's nine in Game 1 and seven hits to Dodge City's eight in Game 2.

"We just needed timely hits, especially in the first game," Schumacher said. "We just didn't get them. We fought and battled our butts off, but we couldn't get them to come through when we needed them."

Travis Wasinger (1-3) took the loss in Game 1 after relieving Shane Zimmerman in the ninth inning. Wasinger surrendered two hits and two runs (neither earned) in one inning.

Zimmerman pitched a solid game, striking out 10 and allowing three runs, seven hits and five walks in eight innings.

In Game 2, Nick Hammeke (3-3) lasted five innings and suffered the loss, allowing four runs (three earned), six hits and three walks while striking out seven.

As solid as the Monarchs' pitching performance was, Dodge City's was better.

Their pitchers were locked in all night, walking just three batters in Game 1 and one batter in Game 2.

After sweeping them in Dodge City, which included a run rule, Monarchs catcher Taylor Pfeifer said the team they faced Wednesday was much improved.

"They just got a lot better," Pfeifer said. "We run ruled them the last time we played them. It shows us how teams can get better throughout the season."

The Monarchs especially struggled gaining momentum in Game 1, never producing more than one hit in an inning.

"We haven't been able to practice that much, and our games are so spaced out that you can get out of a groove just like that," Pfeifer said. "We just need to work on our batting practice, and then we should be good."

The Monarchs had a chance to avoid the loss in Game 1. With the game tied with two outs in the ninth inning, Wasinger had struck out a batter, but on the third strike, the ball bounced off the dirt and Pfeifer lost it, allowing the runner to get on base.

"It's one of those things that happens," Schumacher said. "The home plate area is a little hard right now from the dry weather, and we got some unlucky hops off of that."

Dodge City then singled on its next two at-bats to score two runs and take the lead. The Monarchs managed to score a run in the bottom of the ninth, but not two.

Pfeifer led the team at the plate, hitting 3 of 5 with three RBIs.

In Game 2, the Monarchs produced six hits in the first two innings but just three runs.

However, they still led 3-2 after two innings, but from then on, they got caught in a hitting drought, managing just one hit in the next five innings.

Meanwhile, Dodge City rallied, scoring two runs in the third and a run in the sixth against reliever Pierce Schippers.

The Monarchs had just nine players available Wednesday due to other obligations, but Schumacher said he is looking forward to having all his players in uniform next week as his team prepares for the zone tournament.

The Monarchs will play Tuesday at Colby.

"We haven't (had everyone together) all summer, but we'll have some practices at the end of the week," Schumacher said. "Next week, hopefully, things will start coming together a little better."

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