June 21 was the first day of summer and the longest day in terms of daylight. It was sure a long day for the Liberal Bee Jays. With their ace on the mound and playing a struggling El Dorado team in Liberal, the BJ's figured to get well quickly after two losses at Haysville. But instead all phases of the BJ game failed in a 13-2 blowout loss to the struggling Broncos.
Liberal's pitching faltered. Starter Rusty Devitt entered the game 3-0 with a .50 ERA. But he pitched only four innings and allowed five runs. Justin Jorgenson gave up eight runs in two innings out of the bullpen. The positive was San Diego's Nick Youpel pitched three scoreless innings using the knuckleball he's been working on.
Liberal's defense continued to struggle. The BJ's committed three errors making nine in the last three games.
Liberal's offense only scored two runs when the Broncos bolted to a 13-0 lead.
El Dorado scored three in the second, two in the fourth, and eight in the sixth in route to the win. Luck played a role in the BJ loss. During that eight run sixth, A routine double play ball took a bad hop over Eddie Arroyo at second. The next batter hit a fly ball Liberal's right fielder lost in the sun. It would have been a scoreless inning had those two things not occurred and a 5-0 game rather than a 13-0 game.
Liberal drops their third straight and falls to 12-5 overall and 5-5 in the Jayhawk League. El Dorado is 6-11 overall and 4-9 in the Jayhawk.
Optimists can take solace in the fact that last year on June 22 the BJ's were 3-4 in the Jayhawk and went on to a 22-12 league record and an NBC World Series title.
The same two teams meet Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Brent Gould Field. Lambert Insurance is the buyout sponsor. The game will air on Talkradio 12l70 and kscbnews.net.