Monarchs split with Dodge City
By NICK McQUEEN
It's nearly mid-June, and the Hays Monarchs are just now getting their season started.
By design, the Monarchs have had just three outings thus far to alleviate the busy early portion of the summer (football camp, etc.), but Wednesday's doubleheader against Dodge City was the second of three this week, and Hays head coach Dustin Schumacher knows his team is just getting started. So consistency will come with time.
Wednesday's split with the Rangers saw both ends of the spectrum. The Monarchs went from dominating Game 1 to losing a lead to mounting a comeback -- all in one doubleheader.
Hays (2-3) posted an eight-run fifth inning to earn a 9-1 run-rule victory in the opener, Dodge City's first loss, then the Monarchs let a 5-1 lead slip away in a 10-7 loss.
"That second game, we kind of petered out and lost momentum," Schumacher said. "We had control of it, and let them back in it.
"We had some plays where we got close, but we just didn't make them."
The Game 1 Monarch win looked on the field as an 11-1 run-rule. Cameron Brin laced a solid shot with the bases loaded to right center field to clear the bases. However, after the first run came across the game was over, so Brin was credited with an RBI walk-off single.
The play capped an eight-run fifth where the Monarchs broke a 1-1 tie. Braiden Werth, Kameron Schmidt, Pierce Schippers and Grant Romme all collected walks with Romme walking twice.
Brin reached base twice in the inning, once on an error and again on the game-winner. Taylor Romme reached on a fielder's choice, while Ryan Schippers, Taylor Wasinger, Jordan Gottschalk and Pierce Schippers each had hits. All but Pierce Schippers scored a run in the inning officially, although, Schippers did come around to home plate on Brin's fifth-inning shot.
It was a welcome surge after the Monarchs came out flat in a doubleheader split with Ellis on Sunday.
"Tonight we came out and competed," Schumacher said. "We did not compete very well Sunday, but tonight we stepped up the game.
"We competed well, and that's really all we can ask for right now."
Ryan Schippers and Gottschalk each recorded two hits in Game 1 with Ryan Schippers scoring twice.
Pierce Schippers (1-1) picked up the win as he pitched all five innings. He allowed four Dodge City hits with three strikeouts and one walk.
In the nightcap, Dodge City struggled through the first three innings defensively, and the Monarchs looked well in control.
Hays scored four runs in the second inning to break a 1-1 tie when Dodge City had three errors. Brin had an RBI double in the inning, then came around to score on the same play on back-to-back Ranger throwing errors.
Hays' pitching fell off a bit in the fourth, and Dodge City was able to mount the comeback and take the lead.
The Rangers scored five runs on Schmidt, who was relieved by Werth. The five-run inning for Dodge City included a pair of triples in the top of the order.
"It's kind of a slow start, but that's kind of the way we've always done it," Schumacher said. "We have three doubleheaders this week and three next week.
"By the end of this week, we should be back in the full swing of things. Everyone should be back where they need to be."
Schumacher was pleased with his team's defense after Sunday's split. Hays had four errors in the doubleheader Wednesday, but they weren't damaging.
"Tonight we played much better defense," Schumacher said.
"We've been pretty bad defensively. Dodge hit the ball and our pitchers threw well, but we had some untimely walks, and were close on a lot of plays."
The Monarchs were without Shane Zimmerman as well. He had a toenail removed this week and was sitting out. Zimmemran is the only Monarch not returning for the spring season in 2014 for Thomas More Prep-Marian.
"The kids stepped up tonight," Schumacher said. "We kind of saw a little bit what we might look like without him next year.
"They competed pretty well."
Even after falling down 10-6 as Dodge City scored twice in the seventh, the Monarchs still put two runners on their half with two outs, but Brin struck out to end the game.
Brin finished 3 for 5 in the leadoff spot with two runs scored. Ryan Schippers and Gottschalk each drove in a run.
Hays plays Friday at 6 p.m at Hoisington.
Hays Monarchs 9 Dodge City 1
Dodge City (4-1) 001 00 -- 1 4 1
Hays (2-2) 010 08 -- 9 7 3
Meininger, Ontiberos and Wells; P. Schippers and Gottschalk. W -- P. Schippers. L -- Ontiberos. 2B -- WEiser, Cance, Gifford, Dodge City; R. Schippers, Schmidt, Hays.
Dodge City 10 Hays Monarchs 7
Dodge City (5-1) 011 501 2 -- 10 14 4
Hays (2-3) 141 000 10 -- 7 8 1
Vallejo, Wells (5) and Davis; Schmidt, Werth (4) and Gottschalk. W -- Vallejo. L -- Werth. 2B -- Meininger, Ontiberos, Davis 2, Dodge City; Brin, Rome, Hays. 3B -- Wieser, Doan, Dodge City.