By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
Tanner Rainey’s return to Brent Gould Field was a memorable one Wednesday.
The former Liberal Bee Jay was the first to score in the 2013 season and also hit the first home run of the year in a 6-4 win over the Owasso, Okla., A’s.
Tyler Wiedenfeld pitched three strong innings to start for the Bee Jays, and he was on familiar ground. The Seward County Saint had pitched Seward to a runner-up finish in Region 6 only two weeks ago.
Wiedenfeld was able to pitch out of jams after the A’s were able to get a base runner to third in the second inning and two runners on in the third.
But the fielding was difficult for the Bee Jays who had several players in unfamiliar positions. Liberal committed four errors, and the A’s were able to capitalize on two of them in the fourth.
The A’s were able to take a 3-2 lead due to the two errors while Tyler Buss did his job on the mound of forcing the Owasso baters into ground balls.
But the two additional outs provided scoring opportunities.
The lead was short-lived.
Liberal roared back in the bottom of the fifth for three runs of their own to take a 5-3 lead.
Rainey extended the lead in the bottom of the sixth when a strong wind blowing straight out caught a sharply hit ball to left field that carried beyond the outfield fence for the first home run of the season.
Jose Rosales-Rodarte from Arizona-Western took the mound for the eight and ninth innings, and only gave up one run to close the game out, and the Bee Jays came away with the 6-4 win.
The game was played with wind gusts all night, but no rain.
The only other Jayhawk League team playing Wednesday was El Dorado, but that game was postponed in the fifth inning due to rain. Tonight’s game between the El Dorado Broncos and Southwest Missouri has already been canceled due to the possibility of continued storms in the area.
The Bee Jays are expected to play in better conditions tonight at Brent Gould Field. The winds are expected to subside to 10-15 miles per hour, and the temperature is expected to be in the low 90s at first pitch and cool off throughout the evening.
Admission is free, courtesy Clingan Tires, and the game will be broadcast live at leaderandtimes.com.