By Rustin Watt
• Leader & Times
In a clash of Jayhawk League titans, the first place Bee Jays battled with the second place Heat at Brent Gould Field Friday night.
The game came down to the final batter as one run was good enough for Haysville to take the first game of the three-game series, 1-0.
Jared Moore started on the hill for Liberal and threw a nearly flawless game, carrying a no hitter through four innings. Moore pitched six shutout innings before a leadoff double in the seventh ended his day on the hill as Brent Harrison came in relief.
“They (pitchers) were all phenomenal,” Liberal head coach Mike Silva said. “All our guys on the mound were outstanding. They did a good job pitching as well, it’s one of those games. It’s like postseason baseball.”
Harrison was able to get two outs with a man now at third. Haysville second baseman PJ Garcia was able to reach on a slow roller to second for an RBI infield single.
“They got a bounce and we didn’t,” Silva said. “That ball at second bounced underneath his hand. It was a good game. The next two nights should be a lot of the same.”
In the eighth inning it appeared Liberal would tie it up. Micah Green led off the inning and was awarded first base after wearing a pitch. Ross Kivett then moved Green over with a sacrifice bunt before Quay Grant grounded out to second base as Green hustled to third. With two outs Blake Bergeron came to the plate. Bergeron hit a hard grounder to shortstop. The ball was bobbled before the Haysville shortstop regathered and came up throwing. Bergeron sensing a close play, dove for first base. But he wasn’t there in time and Liberal headed into the ninth where they went three up, three down.
“He made a great throw across the diamond,” Silva said. ”And he recovered really well, it was a heck of a ball game it was fun. I wish it would have went our way, hopefully it will tomorrow night.”
The loss moves Liberal to 13-8 in Jayhawk play. Liberal played Haysville Saturday and Sunday with the top spot in the conference riding on the series.
“They made plays,” Silva said. “They had balls they kicked and made throws across the diamond. It was one of those games where sometimes the bounces go your way, sometimes they don’t. Tonight, they didn’t, but I was really happy with the way we played defensively for the most part, and the way we pitched. We pitched phenomenal tonight.”