By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
Brady Palmer did everything he could to send the Liberal Rattlers to the 14-and-under state tournament Sunday. He pitched four shutout innings and delivered Liberal’s only RBI and a 1-0 lead in the seventh and final inning.
But two runs by Stevens County in the bottom of the seventh erased Palmer’s effort, and the Rattlers settled for district runners-up.
Liberal had two shots at winning the district Sunday, but Stevens County won the first game, 8-5 to force the final.
Palmer pitched four shutout innings in the championship, and the Rattlers had chances to score by getting runners on base, but one Rattler was thrown out trying to score.
Stevens County also struggled on the bases. Twice the Rattlers were abel to get Stevens County runners out in rundowns.
Kaleb Wilmes relieved Palmer in the fifth, and he tossed two shutout innings.
With a 1-0 lead, Stevens County used a bunt and a walk to start with two base runners, but Wilmes was able to get the lead runner in a rundown for the first out.
But Stevens County followed with another walk and back-to-back singles to score the winning runs.