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BEST FOR LAST — Robinson sends rocket over left field for walk-off winner PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 17 June 2017 06:40



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The Bee Jays gather at home to celebrate after Jaron Robinson hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth to deliver a 3-2 win. The umpire was caught in the middle of the mob and had to pull his way out before Robinson was doused with the water bucket.

Back-to-back pinch hits in 9th seal victory

By EARL WATT

• Leader & Times

With only two hits through eight innings and trailing 2-1 with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Liberal Bee jay manager Daniel Parker looked to his bench, and a Colton Onstott double followed by a Jaron Robinson walk-off home run led to a 3-2 win over the Great Bend Bat Cats in the first-ever game between the two teams Friday at Brent Gould Field.

Great Bend starting pitcher Jarrett Seaton didn’t overpower the Bee Jays. Instead, he used a rope-a-dope method of letting the Bee Jays overpower themselves by tossing off-speed pitches high in the zone, and pop fly after pop fly were easily caught in the outfield.

Seaton only struck out two Bee Jays in six innings while he walked six including walking the bases loaded in the first inning.

But the Bee Jays couldn’t deliver a solid hit to score any of the Bee Jays that earned walks.

Darin Cook took the mound for the Bee Jays, and after a scoreless first and two outs to start the second, Great Bend strung together back-to-back  to score a run for a 1-0 lead.

Cook struggled in the third, walking two Bat Cats before getting the second out of the inning. The Bee Jays appeared to be out of the jam when Great Bend’s Mike Sinks attempted to steal third and was tagged, but the umpire called the runner safe, and Jordan Wilkerson hit a single on the next pitch that allowed Sinks to score, and the Bat Cats had a 2-0 lead.

The Bee Jays struggled continued. Seaton kept the no-hitter in tact, and two more walks in the fifth were left stranded.

For the first five-and-a-half innings, only the Bat Cat dugout made any noise, but Garrett Scott finally gave the Bee Jay fans a reason to cheer when he broke up the no hitter with a single to lead off the sixth inning.

Trent Maloney hit a sacrifice bunt to move Scott to second, and Gage Teer followed with a smash to second that should have ben the second out of the inning but was mishandled by the Bat Cats, and the Bee Jays had runners at first and third.

Kyle Schmidt delivered a deep fly ball to the warning track in right field that was caught, but Scott was able to score and cut the Bat Cat lead to 2-1.

Parker went to sidewinder Tyler Tognarine in the fifth, and after Tognarine’s debut in Haysville allowed five runs in an inning, he was able to keep the Bat Cats off the board in an appearance that was expected to be middle relief. But Tognarine ended up remaining on the mound the rest of the game, and he only allowed two hits over the course of the final five innings, giving the Bee Jays a chance to overcome the one-run deficit.

After giving up one run in the sixth, Great Bend’s Seaton was relieved by Dawson Pomeroy, and a double play killed a Bee Jay rally in the seventh, and Pomeroy struck out the first two Bee Jays he faced in the eighth, and a fly ball to center sent the game to the ninth with Great Bend still leading 2-1.

Tognarine returned to the mound in the ninth in his fifth inning of relief, and he, too, struck out the first two batters he faced followed by a weak grounder to second, and the Bee Jays still trailed by only a lone run even though they had two hits in eight innings.

Gage Teer led off with another Bee jay pop fly for an out, and Parker went to the bench and sent Onstott to the plate.

Instead of hitting the ball high, Onstott ripped a line drive to left center that split the outfielders and rolled to the wall, and Onstott stood at second base representing the tying run.

Parker continued to look for offense form the bench, and he sent Robinson to the plate. After fouling off the first pitch, Robinson sent the next Pomeroy pitch deep to left. Great Bend left fielder Corrigan Bartlett continued to drift deeper and deeper until he bumped into the outfield wall, and he looked up as the ball cleared the fence for a game-winning home run.

“You aways have to be ready to play,” Parker said. “We’ve been going at for two-and-a-half weeks, and that’s the best swing I’ve seen Jaron take. Colton had a big-time swing before that to the left-center gap. It’s just two really talented players putting good swings on the ball. It was exciting to see.”

The win kept the Bee Jays (8-3) at the top of the Jayhawk League standings, one game ahead of Derby (7-4) and Hays (6-3).

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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