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Monday
June 24th, 2019

12 turns double playLiberal’s Aiden Shepardson records an out at second and tosses the ball to first to complete a double play Friday against the Kansas Cannons in the seasaon opener. The Liberal Bee Jays won 8-3. L&T photo/Earl WattBy EARL WATT

• Leader & Times

For five innings Friday night, the Liberal Bee Jays and Kansas Cannons battled back and forth, trading leads and home runs, but the final four innings were all Liberal in an 8-3 Bee Jay win to open the 2019 season.

The Cannons scored first when Jordan Ellison hit a solo home run.

But the Bee Jays answered when Cayde Ward led off the second with a double and later scored on two sacrifices for a 1-1 tie.

Liberal took advantage of three walks in the fourth to add another run, but the Cannons took a 3-2 lead in the fifth with a double and two singles.

An RBI double by Corbin Truslow led to a 3-3 tie in the fifth, and three singles in the sixth led to a 5-3 Bee Jay lead.

Truslow added a home run in the seventh for a 6-3 lead, and four singles in the eighth led to two more Bee Jay runs for the 8-3 lead.

Liberal turned a double play to start the ninth, by catching a short pop fly and catching a runner on first off the base. The final Cannon batter struck out, and Liberal earned the 8-3 win.

“The guys put some good swings on it,” Liberal coach Eric Olmstead said. “We were a little tight at the plate, chasing balls they normally wouldn’t. But the second and third time through the line-up they adjusted and made good swings.”

The challenge with summer baseball is how quickly the coaching staff and players gel.

“The staff and players did a good job communicating,” Olmstead said. “We try to get to know them early and build a relationship. We have a couple months with them. We knew where everyone could play, we were just limited. We had 10 position players tonight.”

Liberal played a double header Saturday and will complete the four-game series with a matinee game Sunday at 3 p.m. All home games are free thnaks to buy-out sponsors.

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