The Liberal Bee Jays and Hays Larks bucked a trend Wednesday night at Brent Gould Field. For the first time in four games in the season series, a team didn't rally to win. But it almost happened. Liberal built a 6-0 lead and held on for a 7-5 win to move back into first place all alone atop the Jayhawk League.
With the temperature at 108 at first pitch after reaching 109 in Liberal during batting practice, the Bee Jays got off to a hot start. Liberal scored three in the first and one in the second, third, and fourth innings for a 6-0 lead. That lead stood until the fifth when Hays scored two. The Larks added a run in the sixth to make it 6-3. Liberal scored one in the seventh to lead 7-3 before the Larks scored two in the eighth to make it 7-5.
Liberal plated three in the first when UTA's Travis Sibley led off with a double which Liberal believed hit off the scoreboard for a homerun. UTA's Derek Miller singled and Wichita State's Dayne Parker singled to make it 2-0. A Tanner Rainey sacrifice fly scored home the third run in the inning.
Oklahoma State's Ryan Schilhab tripled to lead off the second and scored on a wild pitch. Tanner Rainey doubled home Johnathan Sigado in the third. Dayne Parker's double was the key play in the fourth and Sigado's sacrifice fly gave Liberal a 6-0 lead.
Hays scored two on BJ starter Chad Nack in the fifth. The UTA right hander improved to 3-0 pitching five innings with four strikeouts, one walk, and two runs. Grayson's Ray Ashford pitched two and 1/3 innings striking out six but allowing three runs. Tennesse Martin's Trevor Lundgrin went 2/3 scoreless before Coffeyville's John Branum worked a perfect ninth for his second save.
The BeeJays are all alone in first at 10-6 in the Jayhawk and 16-6 overall while the Larks fall to 8-8 in the Jayhawk and 14-8 overall. Elsewhere in the Jayhawk League Wednesday night, Derby ripped El Dorado 11-2 in Derby.
The Bee Jays go to Elkhart Thursday for a free youth clinic from 10-12 at Bob Gillespie Field with an autograph signing party at Epic Touch in Elkhart at noon.
The Bee Jays host a three game series against Haysville beginning Friday at 7. Billy's is the buyout sponsor.
Dodge City 9-6
El Dorado 10-9