Catcher Greg McCall shakes starting pitcher Patrick Shreve’s hand Sunday after the second game of a double header with the Derby Twins. Shreve pitched a complete game in a 6-1 Liberal win. L&T photo/Rustin Watt
By Rustin Watt
Leader & Times
In a double header Sunday with the Derby Twins, the Bee Jays split to take the series 2-1 and moved to 2-2 in the Jayhawk League. Due to Saturday’s rain the game was moved to Sunday for a pair of seven inning games.
Liberal struggled at the plate in the first game against Derby’s hurler Ryan O’Shea, despite surrendering a solo shot to Bee Jays left fielder Ryan Walker. O’Shea had six strike outs through two innings. The deceptive O’Shea kept Liberal off balance at the plate and received the win, completing six in the seven-inning affair, and Liberal lost the first game 9-4.
“They had a good guy on the mound,” Bee Jays assistant coach Chris Joblin said. “He did a really good job. He threw a lot of strikes and got ahead of our hitters early, and when pitchers do that it’s tough. I thought we did a really good job coming back in the second game, coming out and not letting the first game affect us.”
“Anything you can do. I can do better,” Bee Jays starter Patrick Shreve must have said to himself before taking the hill in a second game rebound. Shreve went the distance, allowing only one run on five hits. Steady bats backed Shreve en route to a 6-1 Liberal win to take the series.
“Patrick Shreve throws a complete game, really big time job by him,” Joblin said. “Forty minutes after a loss and coming out and doing that on the mound is unbelievable, a really big time start by him.”
The first game was close through the first three winning, and Liberal was up 1-0 off a Walker solo shot to right field in the second before a questionable call at the plate brought Joblin out of the dugout. The wheels seemed to fall off as Derby scored four off four hits and a slew of Bee Jay miscues. Liberal had no answer to O’ Shea in the inning.
Derby tacked on one in the fourth off an RBI single over a leaping Eddie Arroyo to take a 5-1 lead. Richard Bohlken hit a solo shot off O’Shea in the fourth to make it a three run contest, 5-2.
Curtis Washburn came on to relieve starter Josh Smith in the fifth before Jorgenson replaced Washburn in the sixth. Liberal scored two more runs in the sixth off a Reyn Nagamine single and a Walker drive to center and went down 9-4 with Derby dominant at the plate with 14 hits to Liberal’s six.
The second game Liberal turned the page and struck first showing early signs of dominance on the hill as Shreve allowed one Twin to touch base in the first. Liberal’s Blake Bergeron crossed home on a passed ball in the bottom of the inning for a 1-0 Liberal lead.
What may have been the only pitch Shreve would like to have back on the night came in the second as Derby’s sole run came off a lead-off drive over the center field fence by Derby infielder Jake Sloan.
Arroyo answered for Liberal in the inning with a sacrifice fly to left to score catcher Greg McCall on a tag from third.
Shortstop Kelby Tomlinson reached on a walk before first baseman Bergeron was given a free pass to first after hitting Derby catcher Todd Schultz’s glove during his swing. Nagamine dropped a short bloop to left for an RBI single to put Liberal up 3-1.
“I just do anything I can to help the team out,” Nagamine said. “I love being a part of this team, this team is very deep. We have a lot of great players here, so if I don’t get it done I don’t even worry about it, because of that guy behind me.”
Nagamine answered the call along with center fielder Riley “Leather So Soft” Good in the sixth, both hitting home runs before Shreve shut the door in the seventh with a groundout to Bohlken in a 6-1 Liberal win to take the series.
“Winning the series is important,” Joblin said. “If you can win every series usually your sitting pretty at the end of the year. Taking two out of three in our first conference series is a good start, hopefully we can do a little more than that, but if we can win every series, we’ll be in good shape.”
Liberal moved to 9-2 overall, 2-2 in the Jayhawk League. Liberal is off today and will face Hays Tuesday and Wednesday at Brent Gould Field. Buyout sponsor Tuesday night will be the Leader & Times, with J&R Sand the buyout sponsor Wednesday.
Chris Joblin questions a call after it appeared that a Derby runner slid past second base while third baseman Richard Bohlken listens. Two close calls favored the Twins in a 9-4 Liberal loss. But the Bee Jays responded with a 6-1 win in Game 2 to take the series by winning two of the three games. L&T photo/Rustin Watt