By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
Dylan Brown’s lead-off triple set the tone for the Liberal Bee Jays Tuesday night at Brent Gould Field. The Bee Jay bats could not be silenced while Bee Jay pitcher Dylan Hochevar kept the bases free of larks in a 13-1 win for Liberal over Hays.
Hays’ lone run came n the fourth after the Larks loaded the bases with only one out. Hochevar struck out the next Lark batter, and after a single to left scored a Hays runner, left fielder Mitch Caster threw a bullet to Bee Jay catcher Chad Comer who applied the tag for the out.
That was the last threat the Larks could mount against Comer.
While the Larks could not score, the Bee Jays had little trouble crossing the plate.
The Bee Jays used a strong third inning to score three with a double by Comer, and RBI single from Aaron Mees and a two-RBI double from Tanner Rindels to take a 4-0 lead.
After adding a run in the fourth, the Bee Jays had another big inning in the sixth. Bryce Baugh hit a two-RBI single followed by an RBI double from Comer. Mees added another RBI single, and Caster had a two-RBI single to give the Bee Jays an 11-1 lead.
Liberal added two more in the eighth for the 13-1 final score.
Camron Collard closed out the game for the Bee Jays in the ninth on a non-save situation.
Comer led the Bee Jays with a three-for-three effort including two doubles, a triple and being hit by a pitch.
Despite his offensive show, he credited Hochevar with the win.
“You have to hand this one to the pitching staff,” Comer said.
“Hochevar kept us in the game. That makes it easy on the hitters. You will win a lot of ball games when your starting pitcher gives up one run and goes eight innings.”
Comer pointed out that he was not the only Bee Jay hitting the ball.
Steven Tucker had a double along with Rindels and Caster. IN all, the Bee Jays belted out 14 hits.
The offensive support was a change in approach, according to Comer.
“We were coming to the park lackadaisical,” he said. “We weren’t real serious. But after we lost a couple, we got focused. We started working hard at the field.”
A better approach at the plate was expected by manager Mike Hargrove.
“They are making good adjustments during at-bats,” he said. “They are making pitchers throw strikes. It was a good night for us. I knew they were capable of doing that.”
The win opened a stretch of six Jayhawk League games at home split by a make-up game in Dodge City Thursday.
“The league really slaps us in the face with games,” Hargrove said.
“There’s no breathing room to find out what type of team we’ll be.
There’s still a long way to go.”
Liberal (6-5 overall, 4-3 league) will host Hays at 7 p.m. at Brent Gould Field.
The game is free, courtesy of KSCB and the Legend.
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