By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
The Liberal Bee Jays cranked out 15 hits on offense and got good pitching performances from Justin Schnedler and Brent Cleland to win easily over the Dodge City A’s, 10-3.
Early on it did not look like it would be an easy night for the Bee Jays. After Zach Reding took advantage of the windy conditions with a first inning homer to left center to put the Bee Jays up 1-0, Dodge City took advantage of a pair of walks combined with a pair of hits to score three runs in the second innings to take a 3-1 lead.
But that would be the only inning Schnedler (1-0) would struggle in his six innings of work, allowing just one hit, two walks, and no runs the rest of the way.
The second inning was also the only inning the Bee Jays did not get at least one run across the plate.
Brennan Johnson hit an RBI single to center with two outs in the third to get the Bee Jays within one run of the A’s.
The Bee Jays took advantage of three walks in the fourth to score two runs without getting a hit to take a 4- 3 lead.
In the fifth inning, Johnson scored from second when Dodge City made an overthrow trying to get the batter out at first.
Brady Cox hit an RBI double and the Dodge City pitcher balked home a run to put the Bee Jays up 7-3 after six innings.
Kyle Leiser hit a liner to left with two outs in the seventh. Pinch runner Mike Rampone stole second, then
took off for third when the catcher’s throw landed in centerfield. Rampone was awarded third base after colliding with the shortstop despite the pleading of the A’s manager.
Robert Dugger then beat out an infield hit to the shortstop and Rampone scored to make the score 8-3 in favor of the Bee Jays.
Cleland took the mound for the Bee Jays in the seventh and was dominant, with six straight outs coming by strike out.Cleland struck out a total of seven in three scoreless innings.
Zach Reding led off the eighth with a base hit to center, followed by a single up the middle by Brady Cox. Seth Stevens then hit a towering fly ball to right that was lost in the lights by the A’s right fielder, allowing Reding to score to put the Bee Jays of 9-3.
Liberal started the ninth with a pair of singles. Alec Isaac grounded out, but Lieser scored on the fielder’s choice for the Bee Jays final run.
Redding finished the game 2-2 with four walks, a homerun, and a single.
Dugger and Leiser each stole a pair of bases.
The Bee Jays have evened up their overall record at 10- 10 and are now 6-10 in the Jayhawk League.
Liberal will host Derby tonight, Saturday and Sunday.