Good Luck

July 31st, 2021

bee jays 20 home runLiberal coach Eric Olmstead greets Scott Anderson on his way home Friday after hitting a home run in an 12-2 win over the Dirtbags Saturday at Brent Gould Field. L&T photo/Earl WattEARL WATT • Leader & Times


Bombs came early for the Liberal Bee Jays during the Fourth of July weekend, include a three-run walk-off home run from Cayde Ward Friday against the Dirtbags, and culminated with a 5-3 win over Dodge City on the Fourth of July to complete a weekend sweep in Jayhawk Division play that increase the lead for the Bee Jays in the race to reach the NBC World series.

Liberal led 9-2 in the seventh inning Friday when Ward cranked a home run over the left field fence with two runners on base for a walk-off run-rule win, 12-2. Scott Anderson also homered in the win, and four Bee Jay pitchers (Ethan Swanson, Brady Bowles, Mathew Davis and Matt Floyd) combined to allow two runs on six hits and eight walks while striking out 14.

Liberal trailed 3-1 against the Dirtbags Saturday before tying the game in the fifth, taking a 5-2 lead in the fifth, and adding three more runs in the seventh and eighth innings for an 8-5 win.

Liberal used a three-run fourth inning to spark a rally against the Dodge City A’s Sunday, and solid pitching preserved the lead in a 5-3 win.

“It was a lot of fun on the Fourth,” Liberal coach Eric Olmstead said. “It was a huge crowd, Fellowship Baptist provided pre-game activities, and we won. We were very fortunate. It put us in a good situation in our division.”

Liberal extended their lead in the Jayhawk Division to 5.5 games over the Mud Daubers and A’s with nine division games remaining. 

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“We are about to go on playing 10 games in a row without an off day,” Olmstead said. “It will be big. Everyone is rested and ready to go. The difference has been our bullpen. They shut things down most of the time.”

That was evident on the Fourth of July when Hyde pitched five solid innings and left the mound with the lead. Cole Hillier came in and tossed four innings and only allowed one run on one hit while walking one and striking out six.

“No we are headed to Wichita and ready to get after it,” Olmstead said. “Our bullpen and mound presence will be big this next week.”

The Bee Jays have shown grit, including a near altercation after lead-off batter Quintt Landis was hit by the first pitch thrown by Dodge City. But Landis limited his response to a few words and a glare at the mound.

“They come from winning backgrounds,” Olmstead said. “They care for each other and root for each other. You can’t do it by yourself. Do your part when you can. The biggest thing, Quintt gets hit, and nobody want to lose. Let’s do our part to win.”

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