By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
Liberal Rattler Dustin Loftiss has a unique pitching style. It's not quite a sidearm and not a conventional over-the-top throw. It's somewhere in the middle, and it had the Liberal Diamonbacks struggling to put together any significant offensive threat in a 6-2 Rattler win in the first game between the two Liberal Babe Ruth teams Monday.
George Fitzgerald took the loss for the Diamondbacks, but it was not from the lack of effort on the mound. Fitzgerald did not get the defensive support Loftiss received, and it would prove to be fatal for the Diamondbacks.
The first two runs for the Rattlers came in the first inning with two outs and two runners on base when Daniel Frazier hit a sharp grounder up the middle. The ball was fielded cleanly by the Diamondbacks, but an errant throw allowed Frazier to reach safely and two runs to score for a 2-0 Rattler lead.
The Rattlers added to the lead in the third when Frazier and Race Warden hit back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning. A passed ball allowed Warden to score, and the Rattlers had a 4-0 lead.
Warden hit an RBI single in the fourth, and Beau Fick's single coupled with an overthrow in the fifth allowed another run to score to put the Rattlers ahead 6-0.
The Diamondbacks were able to break up Loftiss' shutout in the sixth when Fitzgerald led off with a double and a throwing error by the Rattlers allowed a John Arrellano to reach and Fitzgerald to score. Arrellano also scored when the Rattlers attempted to gun down a runner at second.
But that is a close at the Diamondbacks would get in the 6-2 loss to the Rattlers.
Loftiss pitvhed the complete game win.