Bee Jay shortstop Jake Barrios tries to stop a ball from catcher Toby Semler on a steal by an El Dorado runner. One Bronco was picked off first, but El Dorado was able to steal at will which contributed to a 13-2 Liberal loss. Liberal has lost three consecutive Jayhawk League games. L&T photo/Rustin Watt
By Rustin Watt
Leader & Times
After taking on one of the best arms in the Jayhawk League at Haysville Saturday, and pulling within two runs Sunday after falling down six early, Liberal dropped its third straight game last night to the El Dorado Broncos at Brent Gould Field.
El Dorado dwells near the bottom of the league standings, but someone forgot to tell them that. El Dorado rolled through Liberal to take the contest 13-2 in a 16-hit melee.
Rusty Devitt started for Liberal, but the team’s leader in strikeouts had a tough outing, only going four innings with El Dorado putting up five runs on six hits and two Liberal errors during Devitt’s tenure on the mound.
In the bottom half of the fourth in an odd way it seemed things might turn around. Broncos starter Dalton Torres had a shutout going before a line drive from shortstop Jake Barrios struck the pitcher’s bare hand. Barrios reached and Torres attempted to go but was unable to make a delivery and left the contest. Torres went to SWMC and x-rays were negative. Torres suffered a severe contusion. Wichita State’s Kris Gardner took the hill after a lengthy warm-up coming straight off the bench and despite three hits in the inning, kept the Bee Jays off the board.
Justin Jorgenson relieved Devitt in the fifth and was able to make quick work of El Dorado going three-up-three-down.
There was no quick work in the sixth as Jorgenson pitches were sent to different parts of the fence in all three outfields. El Dorado put up eight hits in the inning, four were doubles, to take a 13-0 lead off 15 hits.
Liberal scored two in the seventh off a Micah Green single and an Edwin Arroyo sacrifice fly. That would be the last of the run production for the night.
Liberal fell 13-2, but put up nine hits. Unfortunately Liberal was unable to string any hits together and didn’t get many runners in scoring position.
El Dorado, on the other hand, had a heyday early on the bases, stealing second with ease as two of catcher Toby Semler’s throw downs shot into center field advancing Broncos freely to third.
The loss moved Liberal to 5-5 in Jayhawk play, and El Dorado moved to 4-9. The teams will match up at 7 p.m. at Brent Gould Field with Liberal still seeking to take the series with a win tonight and Thursday.