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Make-or-break road trip not working out for Bee Jays PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 July 2017 09:15


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Kiersie Carlile stands on the outfield fence to talk to relief pitcher Derek Craft June 30 at Brent Gould Field. Since the Bee Jays left their home field to begin a nine-game road trip, that have turned in a 1-5 record, falling from first to third with nine games to play in the regular season. L&T photo/Earl Watt

By EARL WATT

• Leader & Times

Survive the grueling nine-game road trip, and finish the regular season with six games at Brent Gould Field — that was what the Bee Jays had in front of them after a big Fourth of July win at Brent Gould Field a week ago.

Since then, the Bee Jays have played six straight road games, losing five of them, and along with that, they ave lost their spot at the top of the Jayhawk League.

While the Bee Jays dropped three straight over the weekend to Great Bend, Derby swept the Oklahoma City Indians to move into first place.

Hays also passed the Bee Jays, moving in to second and only trailing the Twins by a game while the Bee Jays fell two behind.

Dodge City lost back-to-back games in Derby, keeping the A’s one game behind the Bee Jays in fourth.

Bee Jay manager Daniel Parker has been able to rely on starting pitching most of the summer, but in Great Bend Liberal was giving up runs early and often, digging holes that Liberal short on the scoreboard.

Saturday, Sam Beattie and his defense struggled, allowing five runs in the first two innings, and only one of those was earned.

Liberal pushed a run across the plate in the third, but the Bat Cats answered with another run in the fourth to take a 6-1 lead.

The Bee Jays cut the lead to 6-3 with two more runs in the fifth, and Beattie came out for his final inning and got three out without allowing a run.

Tyler Tognarine took the mound for the sixth and seventh innings and gave the Bee jays a chance by holding the Bat Cats scoreless.

But the Bee Jays couldn’t find a way to break through against Jarrett Seaton, and after the Bat Cats added two more runs against reliever Derek Craft in the eighth, Seaton completed a completed game for Great Bend, and Liberal fell 8-3.

Kyle Schmidt homered in the loss.

Sunday, Parker found himself trying to pitch by committee, and all four Bee jays that took the mound allowed runs to score in a 10-8 loss.

Thomas Garland started for the Bee Jays and never recorded an out in the third innings after giving up six runs and eight hits.

That sent Chance Garner to the mound, and he only allowed one run while striking out five in two-and-a-third innings.

Liberal trailed 6-3 to start the fifth but scored two runs to cut the lead to 6-5.

But the Bat Cats added another run in the fifth to take a 7-5 lead.

Liberal added three more in the sixth to take an 8-7 lead, and they kept it until the bottom of the eighth when Zach Zeller and the Bee Jay defense faltered, allowing two unearned runs to score, and the Bat Cats took a 9-8 lead.

Craft relieved Zeller and allowed one more run to cross the plate, and the Bat Cats led 10-8.

Liberal continued to battle in the ninth, and a hit along with two walks allowed the Bee Jays to load the bases.

But the key hit never came, and the Bee Jays dropped their fifth game in six tries with a 10-8 loss.

The best news for the Bee Jays is their next three game will come against the first-place Derby Twins, giving them an immediate chance to move back up in the Jayhawk standings.

After a three-game series with the Twins, Liberal will play the final six games in Liberal, hosting Hays for three followed by Oklahoma City.

 

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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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