By Mike Maltais
The Liberty Bell High School varsity baseball team kept its undefeated league record intact last week with wins over Oroville, 10-1, and Bridgeport, 14-1, and extracted some payback for an earlier loss to non-league Okanogan as well.
The pitching combo of Chase Kurtz and Chip Jones held Oroville to a single run while the Mountain Lions piled up six hits, three of those off the bat of freshman Derek Alumbaugh. Against Oroville, Jones threw 34 pitches in the final 4-2/3 innings, 27 of which were strikes.
The Mountain Lions came out on top, 2-1, in a defensive and pitching battle with the Bulldogs to avenge an 8-5 loss to Okanogan last month.
Alumbaugh encored his three-hit performance against Oroville by leading off on the pitcher’s mound for the first four innings, fanning four and giving up Okanogan’s single run on two hits.
Coach Don Calvert dipped into his deep pitching pool and put Milo Holston on the mound through innings five and six, and sent Shane Higbee in to close the door in the seventh.
The Bulldogs scored in the third inning and Liberty Bell answered in the fourth when David Dinsmore III slammed a towering shot to left center field for a double and later crossed the plate on an infield error.
Cole Darwood singled in the fifth inning and later scored on another Bulldog error on what would be the final run of the game.
The scheduled doubleheader at Bridgeport turned into one completed game and a forfeit when the Mustangs couldn’t corral enough players to complete the two-game stand.
The Mountain Lions took the first game by a 13-run margin in five innings.
Jones led off on the mound for the first four innings and Kurtz closed in the fifth.
Jones also smacked a triple in 2-4 hitting that included three RBIs. Morgan Palm and Holston both hit 3-3 with two and three RBIs respectively. Alumbaugh batted 2-3 with three RBIs and Logan Szafas connected for a double.
Gavin Wengerd had a good day at first base and at the plate in place of the absent
Dinsmore III. Wengerd hit a single and double in 2-2 hitting and knocked in two runs.
“We put lots of balls in play and had 13 hits altogether,” Calvert said.
In place of the second forfeited game, both teams switched players six-for-six and played four innings just for the fun of it.
The Mountain Lions were scheduled to host league rival Lake Roosevelt in what coach Calvert termed “an important game” on Tuesday (April 22). The Mountain Lions will host Omak for a non-league contest Thursday (April 24) before traveling to Manson Saturday (April 26) for a doubleheader.