A firecracker of a game fizzled late on the Liberal Bee Jays. After falling behind 6-0, Liberal rallied to take an 8-6 lead only to see Hays score two in the eighth and one in the ninth to win 9-8 in a game which lasted three hours and 15 minutes Tuesday night at Brent Gould Field.
The Larks (18-9, 12-9) scored two in the second against starter Keegan Hucul who made his first start in a month due to a sore elbow. The Larks plated four in the third against reliever Brad Wieck to make it 6-0. But Dalton Bernardi came to the rescue again out of the BJ bullpen. Bernardi pitched four scoreless innings keeping the BJ's in the game and helping them with the chance to take the lead.
The BJ's scored four in the fourth thanks to an RBI double to right center by OCU's Johnathan Sigado. Seward's Tanner Rainey hit a sacrifice fly before a two out RBI single by Seward's Jake Barrios and a two out RBI double by Wichita State's Tyler Baker.
Liberal tied it in the fifth when Wichita State's Dayne Parker doubled home a run and Rainey hit a sacrifice fly to the warning track in center to tie the game.
A two run sixth gave the BJ's the lead. UTA's Travis Sibley singled home a run and Parker doubled home another to make it 8-6 Liberal.
Hays scored a pair of two out runs in the eighth against hard throwing BJ right hander Ray Ashford and added the decisive run in the ninth against John Branum who falls to 1-2.
The BJ's are 18-8 overall and 12-8 in the Jayhawk. Last year going into the 4th of July game they were 22-6 overall and 12-5 in the Jayhawk.
Liberal trails first place Dodge City by 1.5 games going into Wedneday's 7 p.m. 4th of July game against the A's. Fireworks will follow the game and the Community Bank and Pizza Hut are the buyout sponsors. The game will air on Talkradio 1270 and kscbnews.net. First Southern Baptist Church will put on a picnic at 2 p.m. at Brent Gould.
Also Tuesday night, Haysville beat El Dorado 8-3 in Haysville.
Dodge City 13-6
El Dorado 10-14