Liberal's Tanner Rainey delivered a two out to left center to drive home Derek Miller and produce a 3-2 walk off win for the Liberal Bee Jays Friday afternoon in a loser's bracket game against the Colorado Sox. Rainey was mobbed after the hit by his teammates and says jokingly he's lucky he doesn't have a concussion.
The Bee Jays will play Sunday against the winner of a game between the Topeka Golden Giants and the loser of the Santa Barbara-Casa Grande game.
Chad Nack pitched eight strong innings for hte BJ's striking out nine and walking two. He allowed two runs but just one was earned. Ray Ashford pitched three scoreless innings for the win.
It was an otherwise maddening game for the BJ's who found ways not to score and so did the Rocky Mountain champion Sox.
The Sox scored first when they plated two in the fourth thanks in part to a pair of BJ errors.
Liberal came back with a run in the bottom of the inning when Stephen Gandy walked with the bases loaded against Colorado's Logan Hall. Hall is a former Saint who won 17 games at SCCC. Hall went 3 and 2/3 innings. He was replaced by another former Saint Paul Pulley who went four and 1/3 innings allowing one unearned run. The Bee Jays scored in the fifth when Rainey singled and would later advance to third when a pick off move by Pulley to first was wild allowing Rainey to take third. Tanner would scored on a Dayne Parker lineout to left to tie the game at two.
The Bee Jays had a golden opportunity to end the game in the ninth when they had runner on second and third with no outs. After a ground out to third and an intentional walk to load the bases, the Bee Jays tried a suicide squeeze with Miller up to bat which resulted in an out at home. Miller grounded out to end the inning.
The Bee Jays loaded the bases with two outs in the 10th but after a 3-1 count, Colorado came back to get Jake Barrios on a ground out to short.
In the 11th, the first two BJ's struck out. Miller reached on a throwing error by the third baseman. Miller stole second and then Rainey delivered the game winning hit.
Liberal won despite four errors.
The game reunited several current and former Seward County baseball players. Rainey, Barrios, Sam Pack, and Keegan Hucul play for the BJ's while Hall, Pulley, Tyler Hill, Johnny Griffith, and Eddie Williams play for the Sox.
The Bee Jays are 29-16 and play Sunday at a time to be announced tonight.