They are starting to get the hang of this. The Liberal Bee Jays rallied for their third straight one run win in a 5-4 thriller at Haysville Friday night. Texas-Arlington's Ryan Walker drove home Yavapai's Dean Friedberg to make it 5-4. The BJ's then handed the ball to Wichita State closer Cale Elam who struck out two in a scoreless ninth.
The BJ's scored in the first when Lubbock Christian's Richard Bohlken tripled to right center and Nicholls State's Blake Bergeron dumped a bloop single to right. Haysville tied it in the first on Wichita State lefty Josh Smith. The BJ's took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Northwood's Eddie Arroyo scored from third after the ball slipped out of the catcher's hand when faking a throw to second.
Josh Smith pitched five innings and allowed one run, struck out seven, and walked five. The Heat dug into the BJ bullpen in the sixth. San Diego's Nick Youpel retired one out in the inning before lefty Jerad Moore from Kansas State entered the game. Haysville got a two out single up the middle from Don Lambert to drive home two runs and make it 3-2 Haysville.
The BJ's came right back to tie the game in the eighth without a hit or an error. It was just Arroyo attacking a defense. He walked and stole second base. He would later score from second base on a wild pitch to tie the game. His teammates bolted out of the dugout to greet him.
The Heat took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth when PJ Garcia launched a ball of the wall in right to drive home a run against reliever UTA's Kasey Merck.
Sometimes it takes some luck to win on the road in the Jayhawk. Jake Barrios bounced a ball toward second which bounced over the second baseman's head on a bad hop double with one out. With two outs, Dean Friedberg wacked a two out RBI single to right center to tie the game. Walker followed up with a soft single up the middle to give the BJ's the lead.
Bohlken and Walker were both 2-4. Merck (1-0) got the win on the mound and Elam nailed down his third save.
The BJ's are 12-2 overall and 5-2 in the Jayhawk League while the Heat are 5-5 in the Jayhawk. The same two teams meet Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Vulcan Field in Haysville. The game will air on Talkradio 1270 and kscbnews.net.