By JEREMIAH WILSON
• Leader & Times
Finishing up a six-game homestand Wednesday night at Brent Gould Field the Liberal Bee Jays came up just short of a victory as they fell 2-1 to the Dodge City A’s in a nail-biter.
First baseman Seth Stevens committed an error on the first play of the game to put the leadoff man on base for the A’s. Despite the error, the Bee Jays escaped the inning unscathed.
Liberal would not be so lucky in the third.
After errors by Stevens at first and third baseman Tanner Kirk to start the inning, the A’s put the first run of the game on the board.
Starting pitcher Chad Nack beaned the leadoff man to start the fourth, and the A’s jumped on the opportunity, putting another run on the board for a 2-0 lead.
With the exception of the hit batter, Nack looked very strong. He only allowed four hits through seven innings.
“Chad Nack did a good job,” Liberal manager Brandon Kitch said. “We’ve got to make plays behind him.”
Liberal could not get anything going offensively. They managed only two hits through five innings off A’s starter and former Saint Ty Thomas.
“We’ve got to get off to good starts every time,” Kitch said. “This team builds off of confidence, and if we get a good start as far as offense goes, we can go from there.”
Right fielder Lewis Guilbeau provided a ray of hope for the Bee Jays with a lead-off triple in the sixth.
Tanner Rainey brought him in on a squeeze play. That was all the offense the Bee Jays could muster on the night. The A’s bullpen successfully shut the Liberal offense down.
The Bee Jays finished up their homestand with three wins and three losses.
Sitting in fifth place in Jayhawk League standings, the Bee Jays will have to find a way to gain some momentum when they hit the road for their next four games.
“We’ve just got to keep competing,” Kitch said. For the Bee Jays to turn the corner, Kitch said it would take “putting the same guys out there, get good quality starts out of our pitchers, and we’ve got to start swinging the bats and executing.”
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