By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
Liberal coach Eric Olmstead hoped that Monday’s debacle against the River Rats would be a learning experience that would teach his players never to let up.
Tuesday’s games against Woodward may have proven the Bulldogs got the message.
After allowing a 10-0 lead slip away Monday, Liberal battled the Woodward, Okla., Travelers to a double header split, but the Bulldogs never let up in either game.
Following a 4-2 loss in the opener, the Bulldogs scored four runs with two outs in the fifth inning of Game 2 to earn a 10-2 run-rule win.
“I thought we played great baseball for the first time this year,” Liberal coach Eric Olmstead said. “I am very proud of the kids. Woodward is one of the top three teams we will face all summer. We are 3-4 against them so far.”
Timothy Fitzgerald pitched the win for the Bulldogs in Game 2, and his offense blew the game open in th fifth to get the run-rule victory.
After two quick outs, Liberal had a 6-2 lead with the bases loaded. Kaiden Long hit a two-RBI single, and after another hit and final walk-off walk with the bases loaded, Liberal had the 10-2 win.
“In Game 1 it was real easy to suffer a setback in Game 2,” Olmstead said. “Our kids responded. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
An unearned run in the sixth in Game 1 allowed Woodward to break a 2-2 tie and earn the 4-2 win.
But the Bulldog batters were patient in Game 2 and waited for the elevated pitch count to get the timely hits that were missing in Game 1.
“We stranded seven or eight runners in Game 1 and couldn’t come up with the big hit,” Olmstead said. “In Game 2 we worked the pitch count and had quality at bats all night.
Hooker comes to Liberal for a double header at 6 p.m. Thursday, and the Horny Toads will want some revenge against the Bulldogs after dropping two one-run games in tournaments including a loss in the championship of the Liberal tourney.