Richard Bohlken makes an unassised play at second base for an out and then fires to first base to turn the double play in the eighth inning against the West Texas Outlaws Thursday at Brent Gould Field. The Bee Jays defense was much improved over Tuesday’s game against Dodge City, and the Bee Jays won 10-2.
L&T photo/Rustin Watt
By RUSTIN WATT
• Leader & Times
The Bee Jays were in what looked to be a defensive battle last night at Brent Gould Field. The Bee Jays took on the West Texas Outlaws and were up one heading into the seventh, 2-1, before Liberal loaded the bases and Edwin Arroyo slapped a two-RBI double to right field, and the Bee Bays bats were back as they cruised to a 10-2 win.
Tyler Rockafellow made the start for Liberal and in seven innings of work only allowed one run off six hits and one Liberal error.
“He did a really good job,” Liberal head coach Mike Silva said. “I didn’t feel like he had his best stuff, but he kept competing and he settled in late. The later it got the better he got. Early on he was a little bit shaky leaving some balls up in the zone, and he didn’t really get a feel for his breaking ball until he needed it — 3-2 pitches and stuff like that — he really had confidence to throw it. Early in the game he had a couple 3-2 bases loaded, and threw a breaking ball for the strikeout. People forget about that when you blow it open late, but those were huge pitches.”
Liberal scored one in the second and one in the third prior to the seventh inning rally. West Texas was only able to plate one run in the first eight innings.
The seventh began with a Greg McCall single to center before Reagan Pearson ran out a play to first base. Riley Good loaded the bases with a single, and Arroyo’s two-RBI double left some runners on for shortstop Richard Bohlken. Bohlken slapped a shot to the outfield, but instead of a double Bohlken reached third on a throwing error that sent the ball into right field. The last RBI came from third baseman Blake Bergeron who hit a single to right field to score Bohlken.
Liberal then added three in the eighth spurring off a Good double to left center. Bohlken reached on a double to put runners on the corners for Blake Bergeron who hit an RBI single to left field before Reyn Nagamine was awarded first base with a walk. The last two runs of the night came off Dean Friedberg with a two-RBI single.
The Outlaws added one more run in the ninth, and Liberal took the out-of-league contest 10-2 to move to 7-1 in preparation for tonight’s league match up with Derby at Brent Gould Field starting up at 7 p.m.
“It was a tough night really offensively,” Silva said. “We hit some balls hard with the wind blowing in. The wind is a great equalizer. We had some guys hit some balls hard that didn’t fall, but the guys just kept playing, and we did do a lot better defensively. That was really one of our keys. The other night was a bad night, I think we all know that. We did some moving around to put guys where they’re more comfortable and Bohlken did a really good job at shorstop so we’re happy with how we played.”
Derby comes in at 5-0 and admission to tonight’s contest is free thanks to buyout sponsors, Golden Plains Credit Union.
“The off day came at a good time for us after a tough night, and the guys are excited to play,” Silva said. “These are a bunch of guys that aren’t out here just to play summer ball, they want to win. They know the tradition that they’re playing in, and they were really disappointed the other night. I think that loss is going to help us more than it’s going to hurt us down the stretch.”