After the first eight Bee Jays struck out to begin the season, the Liberal Bee Jays settled down and provided enough offense for a 5-2 victory over the Kansas Cannons Friday night in the opener at Brent Gould Field.
After a woefull start in which the BJ's trailed 1-0 after allowing an unearned Cannon run in the second, Liberal tied the game with a run in the fifth when Nicholls State's Chris Miller singled home Seward's Tanner Rainey. Coffeyville's John Branum blasted a towering lead off home run over the left field wall in the seventh to give the boys in blue at 2-1 lead. Wichita State's Tyler Baker tripled to left and scored on a Rainey sacrifice fly. In the eighth Louisiana Tech's Stephen Gandy doubled and would score on a wild pitch. Baker drove home Branum with a single. Baker was 2-4.
Dalton Bernardi started on the mound and went 5 and 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. After redshirting this season at OCU, is was his first live action in months. He struck out eight and walked six. Seminole State lefty Cade Russell pitched an inning and one third scoreless for the win and Yavapai's Peter Lehnstrohm pitched two innings for the save.
Friday night was Don Carlile night. Jack Carlile, the son of Don threw the ceremonial first pitch to Mike Carlile the son of Bob Carlile. Don was involved with the BJ's directly from 1955-1991 and helped recruit the team in recent years when Bob Carlile took over as general manager in 2007.
The Bee Jays host the West Texas Outlaws Saturday night at 7 p.m. Windtree Management and Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites are the buyout sponsors.
The Bee Jays also host a free youth clinic Saturday morning at 10 at 11th and East Street in Guymon. There will be an autograph signing party at noon at Epic PCS in Guymon and free hot dogs will be served by Epic.
The next game on the radio is the Jayhawk League opener Sunday night at Dodge City.