By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
A six-run fourth inning and two home runs provided more than enough offense for the Bee Jays in an 11-1 rout of El Dorado Thursday at Brent Gould Field.
The Bee Jays also showed more attentiveness on the bases, something that might have been a point of discussion during a team meeting the night before with coach John Martin.
“Coach pushed us to play hard and play together,” Liberal Bee Jay second baseman Edwin Arroyo said. “He told us to play to win.”
While the Bee Jays may have been more aggressive in their intent, they were conservative on the bases, and it paid off.
El Dorado took the lead in the second 1-0. But a controversial home run by Will Alvis in the bottom of the second tied the game. Alvis sent a pitch high down the third base line, above the yellow foul pole. The home plate umpire made the determination that the ball was fair at the time it crossed the fence line. El Dorado coach Andy Schatzley protested the call to no avail.
Liberal’s patient base-running provided the lead in the third when Nick Cocking led off with a walk. Aaron Mees followed with a bunt that was mishandled at first, and Cocking advanced to third. A passed ball allowed Cocking to score, and a sacrifice fly by Blake Bergeron brought in Mees to put Liberal ahead 3-1.
The Bee Jays also showed patience on the bases in the fourth when Alvis led off with a walk. Masters reached, and Cocking was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Mees hit sacrifice fly to score Alvis, and Arroyo added a two-RBI single that gave the Bee Jays a 6-1 lead.
The runners continued to stay disciplined on the bases, and Kelby Tomlinson added and RBI single followed by a Blake Bergeron home run that scored two for a 9-1 Liberal lead.
Parker Markel continued to limit El Dorado, holding the Broncos to four hits in six innings.
The Bee Jays added a run in the sixth and eighth, and Austin Robson threw two scoreless innings followed by Brandon Ward-Hersee who did not give up a run in the ninth for the 11-1 Bee Jay win.
“We hit the ball today,” Arroyo said. “We got the signs on the plays. Hopefully we will get on a streak.”
Liberal (9-5 overall, 5-5 conference) will take Friday off and head to Hays for a two-game series Saturday and Sunday.
The Bee Jays return to Brent Gould Field Monday and Tuesday for a non-league pair against Junction City.
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