Derek Alumbaugh threw a no-hitter and his Liberty Bell High School teammates backed him with 15 runs against White Swan as the Mountain Lions rallied to stay alive in post-season baseball competition on Monday (May 11) in Moses Lake.
In the first game, Warden topped the Mountain Lions, 11-8, in a seesaw battle that saw Liberty Bell fall behind 6-0, then tie it up and take the lead, and then give up an 8-6 advantage, leaving them on the brink of elimination.
But the 15-0 win over White Swan later Monday assured Liberty Bell a spot in the second round of district playoffs on Saturday (May 16) at Moses Lake, where they will face Kittitas in a noon game. Liberty Bell must win at least one game this weekend to advance to the state tournament, coach Don Calvert said.
Alumbaugh’s five-inning no-hitter against White Swan featured 10 strikeouts, only two walks, and flawless defensive play, Calvert said. Hits up and down the lineup kept the runs coming.
In the earlier game against Warden, Liberty Bell gave up six runs early, fought back to tie and take the lead, then gave up the winning runs in part due to what Calvert called uncharacteristically poor defense. Chip Jones pitched most of the game, with Peter Aspholm finishing up.
In the season ending run-up to post-season play last week, the Mountain Lions finished with wins over Manson and Concrete after dropping its third straight game in a tough loss to Okanogan.
At Okanogan on May 5, the Mountain Lions fell behind, 2-0, before bouncing back with four runs in the fourth inning on hits by Jacob McMillan, Gavin Wengerd, Finlay Holston and Chip Jones to take the lead.
“That seemed like a good place to be until an error on a routine play allowed four [Okanogan] runs to score in the bottom of the fourth and we ended up losing a third game in a row that we should have won, 7-4,” said Calvert. Liberty Bell had lost to Okanogan, 6-4, in a home game the day before.
“Despite the scores the guys carried themselves with pride and learned a lot and are ready to close the door when it presents itself in the post season,” Calvert said. “Chip threw a heck of a game, allowing only three earned runs on eight hits and six strikeouts. Our seven hits weren’t enough and we left five guys in scoring position.”
Liberty Bell took out some of its frustration against Manson in a road game on Thursday (May 7), coming away with an 18-4 win.
The Mountain Lions quickly plated three runs on consecutive doubles by Riley Calvert and Alumbaugh, plus singles by Wengerd and Sam Thomsen in the first inning. Manson responded with four runs in the bottom of the first inning, aided by errors by the Mountain Lions’ infield.
After that it was all Liberty Bell. The Mountain Lions batted around twice in the second inning and scored 10 runs. They added five more runs in the sixth.
Alumbaugh had two doubles and two singles to go four-for-five. Calvert was three-for-five, and Wengerd drove in four runs with a double and a single. Thomsen had a three-RBI triple and Isaac Cordes was two-for-four with a double.
Peter Aspholm added a two-RBI single and Cole Darwood, Reed Stanbery and Holston each chipped in a single.
Holston and Aspholm teamed up on the mound, with Holston getting the win. Aspholm struck out five and gave up only one hit while holding Manson scoreless.
On Saturday (May 9), Liberty Bell’s last regular-season game was a 9-1 win over visiting Concrete. Thomsen threw four strong innings, earning the win. Seniors Cordes, Dwight Treise, Jones and Calvert were honored.
The Mountain Lions finished the regular season with a 10-6 record in league play, fourth place in the Central Washington 2B North division, and 13-7 overall.