By JEREMIAH WILSON
• Leader & Times
The Liberal Bulldogs struggled mightily in both games of a double header with Dodge City Tuesday night, dropping the first game 11-4 and the second game 10-0.
Nothing seemed to go right for the Bulldogs who were plagued by mental mistakes and fielding errors all night long.
The night began good for Liberal, and they kept the Rangers from scoring in the first two innings of Game 1.
Dodge City scored three runs with two outs in the third inning to get on the board.
The Bulldogs answered in the home half of the third with three runs of their own. All three Liberal runs also came on a two-out rally to tie the game 3-3.
With a runner on, Lorenzo Pando drove a single to center which brought in Stevie Lira.
Brandon Terazzas followed that up with a double to center, and Pando came around to score.
Kaiden Long slapped a single to center to drive in the final run of the inning for the Bulldogs.
The Rangers pulled away in the fourth, scoring seven runs to take a 10-3 lead.
Both teams tacked on another run for the final of 11-4.
The second game started as badly for Liberal as the first had ended.
Dodge City scored a run to open the game in the first for a 1-0 lead.
After the Bulldogs failed to answer in the bottom half of the first, the Rangers scored four more runs in the second to make it 5-0.
Dodge City scored three runs in the third and two more in the fourth to put the game away 10-0 in four innings.
“You have to have some desire and competitiveness, and you have to want to play,” Liberal manager Eric Olmstead said. “It didn’t show tonight. We didn’t prepare before the game very well. We didn’t rise to the level of competition. Dodge City played extremely well, it can go one way or the other real easy.”
The Bulldogs struggled all night in the field and were unable to get out of innings with two outs, which resulted in a multitude of runs for the Rangers.
“We didn’t pitch well tonight,” Olmstead said. “Dodge City had some timely hitting, but all of the base runners were unearned. We either walked them or committed an error. We couldn’t get off the field with two outs. Then we got back in the ball game 3-3 in the first game, and then they come and score seven. Definitely not a good night. Luckily for us it was not the end of the year. We have a tournament coming up this weekend.”
Liberal heads to Wichita this weekend to play in the NBC 16-and-under state tournament at the Westurban Baseball Complex. Their first game is 11:15 a.m. Friday followed by a game at 3:45 p.m. The single-elimination bracket starts on Saturday.
“It’s supposed to be a great weekend for us,” Olmstead said. “You can’t go in there and play tight, so smile, talk and have a good time. If we do things right in the dugout, communicating and all that, it’ll carry over into the field.”
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