By Rustin Watt
Back-to-back home runs Saturday night from a Torrey Jacoby grand slam then a Tanner Rindels solo shot, and a bases-loaded, two-out hit by Chad Comer Sunday in the 11th inning led to a split with El Dorado.
The Bee Jays are now at .500 with a 2-2 record.
The Bee Jays went into the third inning Saturday night with a 4-2 lead. With runners on first and third and no out Bryce Baugh knocked one past the third baseman for an RBI and single. Chad Comer sacrifice bunted and moved the runners to second and third. Dylan Brown then reached on a walk and the bases were loaded. Aaron Mees then came up and struck out to leave the bases loaded with two outs.
Jacoby stepped in and soon saw himself with a full count with two outs and the bases loaded. He ripped the next pitch out of Brent Gould Field for a grand slam.
In stepped Rindels who hit a solo shot to left to give the Bee Jays a
10-2 lead after the third.
“It felt good to start,” Rindels said. “It’s been a while since I’ve played here and it was nice to get in and help get the team a win.
I’m happy (Jacoby) hit that grand slam. It took a lot of pressure off me to drive in the runs. I just got a good pitch to hit.”
That was the last of the offense for the night for Liberal. El Dorado put up five more runs before the night was over, but the Bee Jay third inning was enough to secure the 10-7 win.
Sunday’s game was a defensive battle that left Liberal in the bottom of the 11th inning in a 2-2 game. Rindels led off the inning, and an error at second base allowed him to reach. Next up was Mike Greco who reached on a walk to put runners at first and second. Then stepped in Steven Tucker who also reached on a base on balls, and the Bee Jays had the bases loaded with no outs. But the Bee Jays almost squandered the opportunity when the next two Bee Jays struck out. Chad Comer came up with two outs and the bases loaded.
Gusty winds blew over Brent Gould Field as the inning began, and it would turn out to be a factor during Comer’s at-bat.
The wind, blowing out most of the game, had switched directions and was blowing in and to right field.
Comer hit what may be a routine fly-ball to center most nights, but the ball began to die quickly and the El Dorado center fielder scrambled to make a play. He dove and it appeared he might have made the catch, but the ball never made it in his glove when he hit the ground, and Tanner Rindels scored the winning run. The Bee Jays walked away with a 3-2 victory.
“I think I needed a hit,” Comer said. “Not because it was a hit to win the game, but a hit to get the first hit of the summer for me.
You got to give this to the pitching staff, the staff pitched great tonight.”
Not only did catcher Comer get the hit of the night, but he was also key on defense. He threw out three Bronco base runners trying to steal.
“Again that is from good pitching,” Comer said. “Our starter pitched great tonight, almost eight innings and only gave up one run. But if a pitcher isn’t quick to the plate you can’t throw anyone out, and they did a great job tonight.”
Those clutch hits with the bases loaded were critical in a turnaround weekend. The Bee Jays now are at 2-2 and will take on Junction City at 7 p.m. tonight at Brent Gould Field.