Reyn Nagamine begins his home run trot Monday after driving the ball over the right field fence with a runner on base. Nagamine’s home run was the final crushing blow for the Bee Jays who knocked off the Colorado Lynx 12-2. The Bee Jays have scored in double digits in five of their first six games. L&T photo/Rustin Watt
By RUSTIN WATT
• Leader & Times
The Liberal Bee Jays moved to 6-0 Monday night after defeating the Colorado Lynx, 12-4, at Brent Gould Field.
Pitcher Rusty Divett put up a stellar performance on the mound for the Bee Jays, carrying a no hitter through four innings and a shutout through six.
“I was just trying to get ahead in the counts and finish,” Divett said. “That’s really it. I mean with our bats and offense behind me, they take a lot of pressure off you when you step on the rubber.”
Liberal jumped up early on the Lynx in the second inning scoring five runs on four hits.
The Lynx were stymied at the plate by Divett who had seven strikeouts through the first three innings. In the fourth it looked like Divett’s no hitter may be broken up, but a diving catch by center fielder Riley Good kept it in tact, and the offense picked up following the play.
Edwin Arroyo knocked in Good with an RBI double in the fourth. Arroyos stole third, and a couple walks led the Lynx to make a pitching change. The new arm walked in a run before getting Liberal’s Dean Friedberg to fly out to end the inning with Liberal ahead 7-0.
The Lynx recorded their first hit off Divett in the fifth due to some miscommunication between short, second, and center on a shallow pop to the outfield, but no runs would score.
Liberal didn’t score again until the sixth with shortstop Kelby Tomlinson leading off the inning with a double to right field before a two-run home run over the right-field fence by first basemen Reyn Nagamine made it a 9-1 game.
“My goal is to help the team in any way possible,” Nagamine said of his home run. “If I get an opportunity to hit something hard I’m going to, and if I don’t, the guy behind me will pick me up.”
Friedberg was walked before a Ryan Walker single put runners on the corners with one out. A sacrifice fly by catcher Toby Semler scored Friedberg and Liberal went into the seventh with a 10-0 lead.
The first and only run off Divett came in the seventh for the Lynx as Jeff Lusardi recorded a double off Divett and reached third on a passed ball and questionable call on Semler’s throw to third.
Devitt balked following the call and Lusardi was awarded with a free pass home making it 10-1.
“The no hitter surfaced in my mind after Riley made that diving catch,” Divett said. “It kind of felt like destiny. Then I had one bad pitch and they took advantage of it. The shutout got away from me. The competitive juices were up, but I made a mistake and gave them a run.”
Liberal added some insurance in the seventh off a two-RBI bloop single to center by Friedberg for a 12-1 Bee Jay lead.
Bee Jay coach Mike Silva switched to sidearmer Justin Jorgenson on the hill.
Jorgenson made quick work of the Lynx in the eighth with a three-up-three-down inning.
In the ninth Jorgenson beaned the lead-off batter before forcing a popout to third baseman Blake Bergeron. After hitting a double off Divett leading to their first run, Lusardi hit another double, this time off Jorgenson to put runners on second and third before Garrison McLagan hit a home run off the scoreboard for three RBIs. That was the last of the Lynx offense as their rally was cut short.
Liberal took the 12-4 win to move to 6-0 on the season, heading into league play with a lot of excitement.
“I’m excited and I think we’re all excited,” Silva said. “It was good to start off how we did to build some chemistry and get the guys settled in. But we have a good conference and we’re looking forward to the competition, and we’ll be ready for Dodge.”
Liberal will take on Dodge tonight at 7 p.m. at Brent Gould Field. Admission is free courtesy of the Bank of Beaver City.
“Everyone’s fired up for league play,” Divett said. “It’s going to be a good time. We have to take this momentum and just keep rolling with it into league play.”
Riley Good chases down a long fly ball and makes the catch on a sprint to the center field wall Monday at Brent Gould Field. The Bee Jays swept the two-game series from the Colorado Lynx with a 12-2 win. L&T photo/Rustin Watt