Bee Jays end home season strong
Thursday, 28 July 2011 10:13
Joel Mettlen (Boston hat) prepares to make a statement about Bee Jay Toby Semler (right) during host family recognition Wednesday at Brent Gould Field. The Mettlen family was one of a number of host families that opened their homes to players during the 2011 summer Bee Jay season. L&T photo /Rustin Watt
By RUSTIN WATT
• Leader & Times
The Bee Jays concluded their home season pitching a shutout to the Colorado All-Stars in a 4-0 win Wednesday at Brent Gould Field.
Prior to the matchup, Bee Jay host families were recognized, and the Board Member of the Year and MVP awards were issued.
Wichita State closer Cale Elam and Blake Bergeron were voted MVPs and took home a Staats Jewelers MVP watch.
Danny Luebbers was awarded the Outstanding Board Member of the year.
Bergeron led the way for Liberal’s offense in the home finale with a two RBI single in the seventh.
Knuckleballer Nick Youpel had the All-Stars number in the winning effort.
Liberal will head to Dodge City tonight for their final league and regular season game of the summer before opening NBC tourney play Saturday night in Wichita.
It was a roller coaster like season for Liberal. The Bee Jays began the season 12-2 before beginning a three-game skid in Haysville. The rest of the season Liberal battled for the top spot in the Jayhawk. With destiny in their hands, Liberal was unable to finish atop the league standings. Injuries and losses were huge contributors to the Bee Jays second half of the season with a total of eight Bee Jays removed from the line-up due to injury.
But a new season will begin Saturday. Second baseman Eddie Arroyo has returned to make a run at another national title, and some new additions are filling the void left by wounded warriors.
Liberal is building some momentum going into tournament play sweeping the Colorado All-Stars in their two-game set. A win in Dodge would end the regular season on a high note with the Bee Jays beginning tournament play coming off three-straight wins.
Winning the Jayhawk League, however, has not been necessary for Liberal to make a national run. Liberal has not won the league since 1999 but won national titles in 2000 and 2010.