Head Coach Mike Silva has words with the blues following a botched balk call in the sixth. the argument led to Silva’s ejection in a 16-4 Liberal loss. L&T photo/Rustin Watt
by Rustin Watt
° Leader & Times
After an early onslaught of Dodge City hits, Liberal found themselves down 9-0 after two innings in a July 4, Jayhawk league contest. Liberal had shown the ability to come back (case in point, a six-run ninth inning to rally to a 13-12 win over the Greeley Grays), but the closest the Bee Jays would pull was 10-3 en route to a 16-4 loss.
Robbie Ingram got the start, and it didn’t last long, or perhaps too long, giving up nine runs on 10 hits through two innings before Nick Youpel took the hill.
In the third Liberal managed to tack a run on the board via a Reyn Nagamine double to score Blake Bergeron.
A few questionable calls may have added to the Liberal loss. A balk call on Youpel in the sixth brought in a run from third, and Mike Silva out of the dugout. Silva was ejected in the top half of the sixth following the botched balk call with Liberal down 10-1.
“It was a bad call, and he was out of position to make the call in the first place,” Silva said. “So, I felt like he was in the wrong, I thought he missed the call before that, too, so I wasn’t happy with the call before that on top of it. One of those situtations where I really think that he made the wrong call and when they put themselves in those bad situations, a lot of times they don’t get held accountable, and somebody’s got to go out and say something — stand up for their guys. At that point even though we were down, we have an opportunity for our offense to hit. I still felt we had a chance to win the ball game, and I thought it was a blown call. He ejected me and we went from there.”
In the seventh Tyler Rockafellow took the hill and made quick work of Dodge as a Micah Green double and a Ryan Walker single made it 10-3 after seven.
In six innings of work Youpel and Rockafellow combined to allow only one run coming off of a balk call in the sixth.
“They did a really good job,” Silva said. “Besides Jorgenson and Robbie we pitched pretty well tonight. We had 10 hits, the five errors hurt us, but it’s one of those things you give up that many hits, errors happen.”
Jorgenson took the hill in the ninth and any sort of comeback hopes left in a hurry as Dodge piled on more runs to go up 16-4 with just the bottom of the ninth to play.
Quay Grant knocked a token run in in the ninth off a fielder’s choice in a 16-4 loss.
“We won a lot of games in a row, just one of those nights,” Silva said. “Robbie didn’t have it on the mound, Youpel came in and did a really good job in relief. Early in the game we didn’t get enough hits. They had 19 hits. You’re not going to win a lot of those. Just chalk this one up as a bad night, we’ll get back after it tomorrow.”
Despite the loss Liberal is still atop the conference and took the series from Dodge over the weekend with a 7-0 win Saturday night at Cavalier Field. Starter Patrick Shreve struck out seven in the win, and a Jake Barrios grand slam in the first put Liberal up 4-2 en route to a 9-5 win at Brent Gould Field Sunday.
Prior to July 4, Liberal had won seven straight and 10 of their last 11.
Liberal heads to Hays tonight for another Jayhawk matchup.
“This is the time of the year to win a series,” Silva said. “We’ve won like 11 or so now. We’ll get back after it (today). I still think we’re confident, and these guys will let this one go when they step out of the ball park, and we’ll be ready to go tomorrow. We played there really well at Hays last time. Kasey Merck will start and then Josh Smith, whose our No. 1 guy, will go the next night. Hopefully Kasey pitches well, and if he does, we like our chances every time Josh takes the mound. “
First baseman Reyn Nagamine gets a hold of an A’s pitch for an RBI double in the third inning of Monday’s July 4, matchup with Dodge at Brent Gould Field. Liberal fell 16-4 in the contest.L&Tphoto/Rustin Watt