Good Luck

July 31st, 2021

kelby welcomed at the dugoutKelby Tomlinson returns to the Bee Jay dugout after hitting a home run against the Denver Cougars Monday. Tomlinson and the Bee Jays scored 12 runs, but pitching faltered in a 16-12 loss, only the second loss of the season for the Bee Jays. L&T photo/Earl WattBy EARL WATT

  • Leader & Times

Liberal’s Kelby Tomlinson returned to Brent Gould Field Monday as a Bee Jay and hit a home run that gave the Bee Jays an early 6-3 lead, but Liberal’s pitching struggled early against the Denver Cougars in a 16-12 loss.

Pitching was an issue for the Bee Jays. Kyle Duffey hit three batters and walked three more while giving up seven runs. Duffey pitched a scoreless first inning, and after the Bee Jays built a 5-0 lead including a three-run shot from Bryce Donovan in the bottom of the first, Duffey allowed three runs in the top of the second with two walks, a hit batter and two singles.

Tomlinson homered in the bottom of the second to increase Liberal’s lead to 6-3, but Duffey loaded the bases in the bottom of the second by giving up a lead-off single and then hitting the next two batters to load the bases with no outs. The Cougars followed with a grand slam to take a 7-6 lead, and after Duffey was relieved by Cory Didier, Tomlinson relayed a throw to the plate to gun down another Cougar for the final out of the inning.

Aidan Shepardson hit an RBI double in the bottom of the third for  a 7-7 tie, but Didier was roughed up on the fourth, giving up two runs in the inning and allowing five Cougars cross the plate, and the Bee Jays trailed 12-7.

John Kelly gave the Bee Jays a chance by pitching three innings and only allowing one run, and the Bee Jays tried to rally late by cutting the lead to 14-10 in the eighth when the Bee Jays loaded the bases with no outs, but Tomlinson grounded into a double play, and Cayde Ward hit into a fielder’s choice to end the threat with only two runs scored in the inning.

Eric Heiman couldn’t keep the Cougars off the board in the ninth, allowing two more runs, and Liberal trailed 16-10.

But the Bee Jays hit back-to-back doubles to start their half of the ninth and two walks later had the bases loaded with no outs.

Jake Schulz struck out, and Caeden Trenkle hit into a fielder’s choice that scored another run to cut the lead to 16-12 with two outs.

Tomlinson walked to load the bases, and Jack Malone represented the tying run at the plate but grounded out to the pitcher to end the threat in the 16-12 loss.

Liberal will host the Cougars in Game 2 of a three-game series at 7  tonight at Brent Gould Field.

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