By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
Saturday night’s 6-4 win over Hays could have been just another game if the Bee Jays would have dropped Sunday night’s game for another split with the Larks.
Instead, Saturday’s win became the beginning of a streak when the Bee Jays broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the eighth Sunday night and swept the two-game set with Hays with a 3-0 win.
Liberal was outhit 8-5, but Bee Jay pitcher Austin King was able to spread those hits out over six-and-two-thirds innings without allowing a Lark to cross home.
Liberal only had two hits until the eighth inning.
As good as King was on the mound, Nick Goza’s start might have been better. Goza only allowed two hits until the eighth inning when Robert Dugger hit a one-out single.
Zach Reding followed with a hard-hit bouncer toward first. Lark first baseman Cooper Langley leaped high, but the ball was out of reach, and Dugger attempted to score on the play. The throw from right field was not in time, a Dugger scored on the Reding double.
Kyle Lieser missed on a third strike, but the ball bounced away from the Hays catcher. Lieser took off for first, and the throw was low and bounced away from Langley. Reding scored on the play to give the Bee Jays a 2-0 lead.
Lieser stole second and advanced to third on a flyout to right field by Brady Cox.
Zach Hoffman ripped an RBI single to left center to give the bee Jays a 3-0 lead.
Tyler Wiedenfeld came in the ninth inning and preserved the 3-0 win.
Prior to Wiedenfeld taking the mound, Brent Cleland provided middle relief after King was pulled in the seventh.
The back-to-back wins cut Liberal’s deficit to Hays in half and gave the Bee Jays a 4-2 season lead over the Larks.
But two games remain, and both will be played in Hays Tuesday and Wednesday.
If the Bee Jays winning streak can continue, they can leave Hays in a tie with the Larks for third, a critical position in the quest for a National Baseball Congress invitation.
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