By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
For the first two innings, the bases seemed more like stops on a bus route for the Liberal Bee Jays. Hit after hit resulted in station-to-station base-running as one by one the Bee Jays moved from base to base and eventually home in a 20-1 shelling of the Denver Bombers Monday at Brent Gould Field.
While the Bombers had some tough moments in the field, they only committed one error. The 21 runs came from legitimate hits — 23 of them to be exact, including two that sailed beyond the outfield wall.
Dayne Parker sent a three-run blast over the fence in the firts inning, and it was followed by another three-run blast by Jacob Huckabay that sent young fans scurrying to find it. No one did as the ball was sailed well beyond the fence on a day with the wind blowing out.
The parade of batters continued until it almost didn’t seem fun any more after the Bee Jays gad a 20-run lead after three innings.
The game was called after the top of the seventh.
Brad Wieck pitched four innings for the Bee Jays and did not give up a run. Cale Russell finished the game with three innings of work and only allowed one run.
Tyler Baker and Johnathan Sigado were given the day off to make room in the line-up for some ofther Bee Jays, but it didn’t seem to slow down the offense.
“We werre trying to give some guys a day off,” Liberal manager Brandon Kitch said. “We put some guys in other positions. We are a couple of injuries away form having to do that. The guys came out on fire and stayed hot. We have been playing well.”
Even when the game was lopsided, Kitch still wanted to his his team competing at the plate.
“Quality at bats is what we want,” he said. “We have a good hitting club. Last night, guys on the bench to everyday players, we can do some things offensivley that helps our pitching staff out.”
Wieck didn’t need much help, nor has any other Bee jays starter during the current streak of eight wins in the last nine games and six wins in a row.
In the last six games, the Bee Jay pitching staff has not given up more than four runs in a game while the Bee Jays have averaged scoring 8.6 runs per game.
In Liberal’s three losses, their opponents have scored 10, 13 and 7 runs. In the 11 Bee Jay wins, the opponents are averaging 2.36 runs per game.
While the stats are stacking up in the Bee Jays’ favor, Kitch does not want his team to take the Bombers lightly tonight in the second game of the two-game set.
“I told the guys don’t take this team for granted,” he said. “They can come up and bite you if you just go through the motions. They can steal one. We are palying well and we want to keep the streak alive.”
After today’s game, Liberal will jump right back into Jayhawk League action Wednesday on the road against the Dodge City A’s.
“We want to make sure we stay hooked up and compete,” Kitch said. “It is tough. We hve split the series so far with Dodge. These guys know what is at stake. We have to keep hooked up and on schedule.”