Good Luck

December 05th, 2019

9 safe at thirdLiberal’s Connor Emmet slides safely into third base Monday night at Brent Gould Field. Emmet and the Bee Jays won the series finale 11-1 by run rule in the eighth inning to split the four-game series and set up a Jayhawk Conference title showdown later this week. L&T photo/Earl WattBy EARL WATT

 Leader & Times

While the Bee Jays were battling Clearwater this past weekend, they also had an eye on what was happening in Dodge City, and after Liberal split a four-game series with the Outlaws, they also received some help form the A’s Monday.

Liberal knocked off Clearwater 11-1 Monday, and the Dodge City A’s scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to knock off the Hays Larks 8-5.

The win by the A’s (4-9) kept Liberal’s shot at a Jayhawk Conference title alive. Hays (9-6) had previously defeated the A’s six times in a row, and despite Liberal having a 5-3 season advantage over the Larks, if Hays had swept the season series from Dodge City, Liberal (8-6) would have been locked out of a shot at the title.

But with Dodge City’s lone win against the Larks, the Bee Jays now have a chance to win, and that chance could improve if the A’s can win tonight’s game against the Larks as well.

If Dodge City wins tonight, the Bee Jays need to win one of the two games against Dodge City Wednesday and Thursday.

If Dodge City loses tonight against Hays, the Bee Jays will have to sweep the A’s in the final two games of the season to win the conference title.

The Jayhawk Conference winner automatically advances to the NBC World Series Championship Week.

The conference runner-up must play in a four-team Kansas Collegiate League tournament with the winner qualifying for the NBC World Series First Week tournament.

All other teams will be at the mercy of the NBC World Series Selection Committee in hopes of an at-large bid.

“We are definitely Dodge City fans for the next two games,” Liberal coach Eric Olmstead said after returning to the team. His son played in the 9-and-under state tournament Saturday and Sunday, and Olmstead went to watch the young Rattlers win the state title with an extra-inning victory.

“We had a blast at the state tournament,” he said. “It was one of those things you can’t miss as a dad. I appreciate the Bee Jay organization letting me go. But it was good to be back.”

Liberal won the series opener against Clearwater Friday but lost both nights Olmstead was gone. He returned Monday, and Liberal won by run rule 11-1.

“We will throw our best line-up at Dodge City and see where we are at,” Olmstead said after Monday night’s win. “Dodge is our best friend tonight and tomorrow, and hopefully we have a shot to win the division.”

The Bee Jays will be watching tonight’s result between Hays and Dodge City before traveling to Dodge City Wednesday.

The final home game of the season will take place Thursday, and it could be for the conference title.

“We want to come out, have a lot of fun and have a lot of fans out here to give back to them,” Olmstead said. “And get after Dodge City.”

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