The Liberty Bell High School baseball team has been running up football-like scores in the early season, averaging almost 20 runs a game in bolting to a 4-0 record.
The Mountain Lions topped non-league opponents Waterville, 12-0, and Omak, 12-5, to open the season.
Last weekend, Liberty Bell routed Oroville, 24-0 and 30-2, in a double-header sweep that gives the Mountain Lions a 2-0 league record.
Against Waterville on March 17, senior Chip Jones and sophomore Derek Alumbaugh combined for 13 strikeouts to secure the shutout in five innings. Senior Riley Calvert pounded out two doubles, drove in three runs, scored four runs and stole two bases to lead the offensive effort. Alumbaugh added two hits, three RBIs, three runs and two stolen bases.
Senior Dwight Treise contributed a single and a double, and junior Sam Thomsen had a double, two RBIs and a stolen base. Senior Isaac Cordes got his first varsity hit to drive in a run.
At Omak on Wednesday (March 18), Thomsen pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and striking out seven. Freshman Finlay Holston finished things up with 2 2/3 innings, allowing one hit and striking out three.
Defensive highlights were turned in by Calvert at second base, and by Treise, Jones and junior Gavin Wengerd who combined on a relay from center to gun down a runner at third.
Treise slammed a two-run triple and Wengerd added an RBI triple. Eighth-grader Peter Aspholm stroked an RBI double for his first varsity hit. Alumbaugh had a single, scored four runs and stole two bases. Cordes and Holston each added a hit.
In the first game at Oroville on Saturday (March 21), the home team’s pitcher was knocked out of the game in the third inning when a line drive hit him in the nose. “Oroville’s pitchers had a rough time finding the strike zone, leading to a number of walks mixed in with 13 hits,” Mountain Lions coach Don Calvert said.
Alumbaugh and Aspholm combined for five innings of one-hit, 10-strikeout pitching. Junior Jacob McMillan led the hit parade with three doubles, three runs scored and three RBIs. Wengerd stroked three singles for two RBIs and scored two runs.
Jones and Calvert each had two hits. Jones drove in three runs, Calvert knocked in two. Alumbaugh had an RBI double and scored three runs. Eighth-grader Leo Shaw got his varsity debut hit for an RBI and a run scored, and saw his first time catching varsity pitching. Reed Stanbery had an RBI single and scored two runs.
In the second game at Oroville, “we continued the walk and hit-a-thon,” Calvert said.
Jones allowed one hit and struck out four in four innings of pitching. Wengerd closed it out in the fifth inning.
McMillan clubbed three hits, had five RBIs and scored four times. Alumbaugh punched two singles and a triple for six RBIs and scored five runs. Jones added a double and two singles for an RBI and five runs scored. Thomsen’s two singles produced two RBIs and two runs. Stanbery had a single, three RBIs and four runs. Cordes and Calvert each had a single.
“They weren’t pretty wins but they were wins that provided the young guys a lot of valuable game experience,” Calvert said.
The Mountain Lions lost six players to graduation last year. “We still have a solid core of returners – three seniors, three juniors and a great pipeline of young players.” the coach said. “ This is the most cohesive group of teammates I have ever coached and they are tremendous hard workers who never give up. This should be another strong year for the Liberty Bell nine.”
The Mountain Lions traveled to Lake Roosevelt on Tuesday (March 24). They will be at Pateros on Monday (March 30). The first home game is on April 14 against Tonasket.