By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
Tyler Wiedenfeld pitched deep into the game Monday against Dodge City, a good sign for Liberal manager Brandon Kitch after a tough series with Derby.
The result was a 3-1 Liberal win over the A’s, keeping the Bee Jays within a game of first in the Jayhawk League.
Kitch had to watch the game from outside Cavalier Field after being ejected in Sunday’s game with Derby. League rules stipulate that an ejection is an automatic one-game suspension.
Assistant Ryon Butts liked what he saw form the Bee Jays after suffering a 15-3 loss on Sunday to Derby.
“After getting beat like that and coming out and traveling and getting the job done was good to see,” Butts said. “It was god to see our guys compete a little bit and get good at bats.”
Wiedenfeld pitched six solid innings and only allowed one run.
“He was throwing first pitch strikes with his fast ball, and his breaking ball came through,” Butts said. “His last outing he got roughed up, but he came in and did a good job for us.”
Liberal scored first with small ball. Using the bunt and advancing the runner, the Bee Jays took a 1-0 lead and added another in the top of the third.
Dodge City scored its only run of the game in the third to cut Liberal’s lead to 2-1, and the game stayed that way for three innings.
The Bee Jays added an insurance run in the sixth and two more in the top of the ninth.
Austin King relieved Wiedenfeld after the sixth inning, and Chad Nack pitched the ninth to preserve the win.
“Nobody likes losing by 12,” Butts said. “The guys took that to heart. We came out and played pretty well. We showed a lot of character.”
Dylan Delso helped with a key hit early for the Bee Jays, and Darian McLemore came in late and provide another clutch hit that helped the Bee Jays pad the lead.
The Bee Jays will host Dodge City tonight in a non-league affair, and Butts said it would be an opportunity to see some new faces.
“We have some guys that are tired,” he said. “Our starters are playing every game. We are going to give some guys a break, and give some other guys some playing time. They are capable, we just haven’t been able to get some of them in yet.”
Tonight’s game begins at 7 p.m. at Brent Gould Field. It is the final home game until June 21.