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Bee Jays score 4 on the Fourth, win 4-2 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 05 July 2017 08:29


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Liberal center fielder Marcus Shoemaker puts the ball in the air against Dodge City during the annual Fourth of July Classic at Brent Gould Field. Shoemaker had a hit and an RBI in the 4-2 win over Dodge City, helping the Bee Jays extend their lead in the Jayhawk League before beginning a nine-game road trip starting today. L&T photo/Earl Watt

By EARL WATT

• Leader & Times

Cole Jenkins pitched six strong innings, the bullpen finished with three innings of scoreless relief, and the Bee Jays provided enough offense to knock off the Dodge City A’s 4-2 in the annual Fourth of July Classic at Brent Gould Field.

“It was well played on both sides,” Liberal coach Daniel Parker said. “It was well-pitched from Cole, and (Dodge City’s Adam Thies) threw extremely well. We had to play our best to win, and I thought we did that.”

Liberal did not commit an error but took advantage of two Dodge City miscues that helped the Bee Jays earn the win.

Liberal took a 1-0 lead in the second after Trent Maloney led off with a single and later scored when Colton Onstott doubled.

Dodge City tied the game in the fifth with three straight two-out singles that pushed an A across the plate.

But the Bee Jays responded in the bottom of the fifth with a big inning that started with Onstott’s second double of the game. Kyle Schmidt followed with a single that allowed Onstott to score, and the Bee Jays had a 2-1 lead.

James Hardeberger added a one-out single, and Marcus Shoemaker added a single that scored Gage Teer, but Hardeberger was called out advancing to third on the play.

Zac Cook hit a smash to the Dodge City third baseman, but he couldn’t make the play, and the error allowed Shoemaker to score, and the Bee Jays had a 4-1 lead.

Jenkins came back out for the sixth, but three more singles allowed another A to cross the plate and cut the lead to 4-2.

Parker relieved Jenkins in the seventh with Chance Carner, and despite a one-out walk, he was abel to keep the A’s off the scoreboard.

Parker then put the ball in the glove of Derek Craft for the eighth and ninth innings, and Craft allowed one hit while striking out two in tossing two shutout innings and preserving the Bee Jays 4-2 win.

The game moved along so quickly, that the annual fireworks display had to wait for the sun to set before it could begin.

“We played great  defense,” Parker said. “(Shortstop) Jaron (Robinson) and (second baseman) Zac Cook up the middle is as good as it gets in this league. We came up with the big hits and pitched well enough to get it done.”

The home game was the last against Dodge City before the Bee Jays play three against the A’s in Dodge City including a double header today and a single game Thursday. Dodge City was only a game-and-a-half behind the Bee Jays before the  Fourth of July game, but Liberal extended that to two-and-a-half.

“Going in to play three games on the road, this was close to a must-win game,” Parker said. “This was the last time we were playing these guys at home. We definitely wanted the win. Growing the lead on these guys was important going in to this game.”

As usual, the Fourth of July crowd was the largest of the season, and Parker said the team fed off of that.

“The crowd was big time,” Parker said. “The parking lot was full before we got to the park. The crowd was great . The players fed off the energy. It was a big-time showing from them and a great atmosphere for us.”

The Bee Jays (21-6) will now play the longest road trip of the season of any team in the league. Liberal will play nine games straight away from Brent Gould Field, starting with three in two days against Dodge City followed by a three-game series in Great Bend, and then the Bee Jays will battle a resurgent Derby Twins for three.

Liberal will not return to Brent Gold Field until July 14.

“We’re just trying to take it game by game,” Parker said. “We go by the motto that if we play our style, no matter who we are playing, we should be in good shape. Our guys thrive on being on the road, being in a hotel. We will be just fine.”


 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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