By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
The hit parade continued for the Bee Jays Monday night at Brent Gould Field, and this time it was coupled with a strong pitching performance in an 18-0 run-rule win over the Colorado Renegades.
The Bee Jay offense has dominated the first two opponents of the season, but until Monday’s game, the Bee Jays had surrendered an average of 6.5 runs per game.
That average will drop to 4.75 after last night’s one-hit shutout.
Herman Ramos came out for the first four innings and gave up two walks and no hits.
Through three innings, Ramos had a perfect game before walking back-to-back runners with one out in the fourth. He recovered to get as pop-out and a grounder.
“I got out of rhythm,” Ramos said. “I was throwing the ball and finding the strike zone. A tossed a couple of sliders, and I got it back.”
Bee Jay manager John Martin replaced the 6-foot, 2-inch Ramos with the 5-foot, 7-inch sparkplug Renny Weber in the fifth. Weber pitched the final three innings in the run-rule shortened game, and if not for a bloop hit to left field in the sixth the two would have had a combined no-hitter.
“I just try to get ahead of the hitter,” Weber said. “I only threw four off-speed pitches. I change the speed on my fastballs. When you are trying to hit a round ball with a round bat, that throws hitters off.”
The defense continued to shine throughout the night. Edwin Arroyo made a diving stop at second and threw the out at first. On another play, first baseman Randall Packard chased down a foul ball in shallow right and made the catch over his shoulder.
The defense and pitching performance was the best of the season.
While the two Bee Jay pitchers sent the Renegades back to the dugout with regularity, Colorado never had a three-up, three-down inning against the high-octane offense of the Bee Jays.
Liberal scored eight in the second inning alone with three doubles, five singles and an error on Colorado.
Five of those runs came with two outs, and 13 batters came to the plate in the inning.
Liberal added another run in the fifth when Joe Perez hit a home run over the left field fence to give the Bee Jays a 9-0 lead.
In the sixth, the Bee Jays sent another 13 batters to the plate and scored nine more runs. Edwin Arroyo started the scoring frenzy with a one-out double. The Renegade pitcher then gave up three consecutive walks that forced Arroyo and Kelby Tomlinson home.
That was followed by five straight singles from Mark Gomez, Packard, Sam Konoff, Mike McCarthy and Weber.
Weber pitched three straight outs in the seventh for the run-rule win.
The Bee Jays (4-0) open Jayhawk league play at 7 p.m. today against the Dodge City A’s (4-0). The A’s rallied from a 5-0 deficit Monday to defeat the Colorado Bombers 7-5.