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Friday
August 23rd, 2019

sirdashney dogpileLiberal’s Shane Sirdashney is mobbed by the Bee Jays after hitting a walk-off single in the ninth inning against Dodge City Thursday night at Brent Gould Field. Liberal won 4-3 and earned the automatic bid to the NBC World Series Championship Week. L&T photo/Earl WattBy EARL WATT

Leader & Times

Water bottles sprayed in the air and the Liberal Bee Jay dugout emptied to dog pile Shane Sirdashney after a walk-off RBI single earned the Bee Jays a ticket to the NBC World Series Championship Week Thursday night at Brent Gould Field.

Dodge City scored two runs in the top of the ninth to tie the Bee Jays 3-3 and had a chance for more with runners at second and third, but a throw from second baseman Tristan Stacey to first baseman Cayde Ward barely beat Dodge City’s Griffin Selby to keep the game tied.

Liberal Bee Jay season MVP Connor Emmet earned a one-out walk, and Ward singled to move Emmet to second.

Sirdashney hit the first pitch he saw and ripped it into left field.

With Emmet sprinting to third, Liberal coach Eric Olmstead waved him home, and the throw came to the first base side of home while Emmet slid to the third base side. He beat the tag, and the celebration was on.

“They played deep all night,” Olmstead said. “I saw the runner get a good jump, and normally you would hold on a hard hit ball at a guy, but the wind is blowing against them, they are deep, Connor Emmet runs well, so let’s take a chance. And he got there.”

Olmstead also sent a runner to the plate in the fourth inning when the A’s bobbled a ball in the outfield, and Colton Moore was safe to give the Bee Jays a 2-0 lead.

Liberal added another run in the fifth when Brandon Holdren hit an RBI single to score Sirdashney.

But Dodge came back, scoring a run in the seventh and two more in the ninth despite being down to their final strike three times.

But Sirdashney’s heroics in the ninth gave the Bee Jays the Jayhawk Conference title with a 10-6 record which tied hays, but Liberal won the season series over the Larks 5-3. 

“Thanks to the Liberal fans,” Olmstead said after the big win. “It was an outstanding environment. They were on their feet. We didn’t get it done in the ninth. We threw good pitches, they made good swings. They scored a couple runs. We were a little unlucky on a bad hop. But it was the most focused game I’ve ever seen. They were locked in. We knew if we could get a base runner on, good things would happen.”

The A’s didn’t make it easy. After overcoming a 10-0 deficit Wednesday, Dodge City rallied to tie Thursday’s game.

But in both games, the Bee Jays came back for wins.

“Dodge City is a good club,” Olmstead said. “They battled back tonight and last night. But there is no quit in our guys. Every one of them want to be at the plate when the game is on the line. I’m proud of them for getting it done tonight.”

The win earned the Bee Jays an automatic bid into the NBC World Series Championship Week where they will try to win their six national title.

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