By Mike Maltais

In a rematch against the team they defeated last year to advance to the state final four, the Liberty Bell High School varsity baseball team lost to Asotin, 6-4, at Walla Walla on Saturday, derailing the Mountain Lions’ return trip to the championship round.

The Mountain Lions swept aside their league opponents Lake Roosevelt, Bridgeport, Oroville and Manson in a 14-0 season performance and went 17-5 in the overall season.

In district competition at Wenatchee Valley College earlier this month, the Mountain Lions opened against Kittitas, which handed Liberty Bell one if its five losses during the regular season. The Coyotes managed to squeak by Liberty Bell, 5-4, to advance to the district championship against Riverside Christian and leave the Mountain Lions in a must-win position against White Swan.

When the two teams met in mid-May, Liberty Bell blanked the Cougars, 16-0, to move on to regionals. Liberty Bell’s expected opponent, two-time defending state champion DeSales, was derailed by Asotin to win a rematch against the team that knocked the Panthers out of the playoffs last year.