The Greeley Gray manager looks on as Bee Jaysfirst baseman Blake Bergeron steps to the plate. An early 6-2 lead was too much for Liberal to overcome before lightening ended the game prior to the ninth inning. photo/Rustin Watt
By Rustin Watt
• Leader & Times
With an inning to play and the Bee Jays facing a two-run deficit, lightning appeared to strike an electric tower just beyond the outfield at Brent Gould Field. A loud clap ensued and a delay became the closing of Wednesday night’s contest with the Greeley Grays. The Grays strong start and bend-but-don’t-break defense were key in a 7-5 Liberal loss.
Greeley wasted no time at the plate and jumped out to an early 6-2 lead through three.
Liberal plated a run in the fourth to claw back off a Toby Semler double to left center that scored right fielder Reagan Pearson from second.
Starter Kasey Merck was replacd by Justin Jorgenson who started the fifth, and the Grays loaded the bases off two walks and an error. Jorgenson’s day was done as K-State’s Jared Moore came in relief and struck out the next two Greeley batters to escape the inning unscathed.
An RBI single by Toby Semler along with a Ryan Wallker RBI single to left in the sixth cut the Grays lead to 7-5.
Liberal had a runner reach with two outs in the eighth but a hard shot to left field by Ryan Walker made a b-line to Greeley leather before the game was called during the transitioin to the ninth inning.
“This wasn’t our night,” Liberal head coach Mike Silva said. “We didn’t pitch it very well. Defensively we didn’t play really well and offensively we just never got those big hits. We got a lot of hits, just not those timely hits with guys in scoring position and two outs. We felt good, felt we were going to have a walk-off win right there, we’ll fight to the end. It just didn’t happen tonight, so we’ll come back tomorrow and get after it.”
Liberal moved to 17-6 and will play the rubber game of the series with Greeley tonight at Brent Gould Field.
Jared Moore deals a pitch in Wednesday nights contest with the Grays. Moore ecame into a bases loaded jam in the fifth and struck out the next two Grays to escape the jam. L&Tphoto/Rustin Watt