Ryan Walker slides in for a steal attempt in Monday’s bout with the Greeley Grays from Colorado. Liberal moved to 17-5 after defeating the Grays in seven innings by run-rule 9-1.L&T photo/Rustin Watt
By RUSTIN WATT
• Leader & Times
Liberal returned to Brent Gould Field Monday for an out-of-league match-up with Colorado’s Greeley Grays. Starter Robbie Ingram gave up only one run in the contest, and stout defense kept the Grays at bay along with steady bats and Reagan Pearson coming up big at the plate and in the field with a diving grab in right field. Liberal finished Greeley in seven innings, 9-1.
“I’m excited,” Liberal head coach Mike Silva said. “Robbie really stepped up and did really well. Five strikeouts and only two walks, I feel like he really just overpowered them tonight and hopefully he’ll be able to continue that.”
After the third inning it looked like a dogfight with a 1-1 tie. In the fourth Liberal put it on as shortstop Jake Barrios led off the inning with a single. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases for Pearson who was able to score Barrios from third with an RBI single. With the bases still juiced second baseman Toby Semler worked the count for a base on balls to score a run.
Micah Green stepped in and reached on a fielder’s choice as the double play attempt’s throw to first went to the first base fence, but Green hesitated on his move to second base and was tagged out at first. Ryan Walker reached on a two-out walk before third baseman Blake Bergeron ripped a single to score another run to give Liberal a 6-1 lead after the fourth inning.
“Reagan was really our best guy tonight,” Silva said. “He comes every day and works hard. He hasn’t really got a lot of playing time. Ross Kivett is nursing his shoulder and Riley (Good) we’re trying to give him time off with his foot, so what we had tonight is all we have left really with 10 position players, and Reagan made the most of it tonight.”
A Reyn Nagamine hit, a Barrios slap to short that was mishandled along with a sacrifice fly by catcher Greg McCall added three to Liberal’s total as they went up 9-1 in the sixth.
Knuckleballer Nick Youpel took the hill in the seventh with a fresh shave and made quick work of the Grays to end the game by run-rule in the seventh, 9-1.
Liberal will take on the Grays again tonight with Kasey Merck set to start.
Liberal will finish their three-day bout with the Grays Wednesday before heading to Dodge City for league play Thursday.
Bottom: Reagan Pearson swings for an RBI single in the third inning. Pearson was key in the contest filling in for Riley Good and Ross Kivett. Pearson was good for a triple, and an RBI single along with a web-gem in right field helping Liberal to a 9-1 win.
Top: Third baseman Blake Bergeron makes a throw to third first base to record an out. L&T photos/Rustin Watt