Strong pitching and consistent hitting carried the Liberty Bell High School baseball team to two victories last week, but the Mountain Lions faltered on the mound and at the plate in losing the second game of a double header.
At Manson on April 19, Liberty Bell blanked the Trojans, 8-0. Finlay Holston started and threw three effective innings, striking out six, coach Michael Wilbur said. Peter Aspholm pitched the next two innings, and Gavin Wengerd finished up the final couple of innings.
“All three threw the ball well,” Wilbur said.
Hitting was highlighted by a three-run homer off the bat of Derek Alumbaugh, one of five extra-base hits for the Mountain Lions. Alumbaugh also walked twice and scored two runs. Wengerd had two hits, including a double. Aspholm drove in a run and Sam Thomsen had an RBI double.
“We played pretty good defense, and showed some discipline at the plate, forcing their starter to throw a lot of pitches,” Wilbur said. “The bats came alive with some big extra base hits, but we have to stop giving away outs on the base paths.”
Base running “took a real step forward” in the first game of a double-header against Lake Roosevelt on Friday (April 22), Wilbur said, but once again it was hitting and pitching that stood out in the box score as the Mountain Lions won, 9-2.
As he has several times this year, Alumbaugh rang up double-digits in the strikeout column, fanning 13 in going the distance. Alumbaugh gave up just five hits and two walks.
“Alumbaugh stepped up big to give us the win in a game that we needed,” Wilbur said. “He struggled a little bit in the first inning, giving up a leadoff double, but battled through to limit Lake Roosevelt to one run, and then mostly cruised from there against a tough lineup.”
Liberty Bell had good at-bats against a tough Lake Roosevelt pitcher, Wilbur said. “Lake Roosevelt made some errors and we drew quite a few walks, and that patient approach at the plate paid off big for us,” the coach said.
Alumbaugh scored three runs and had an RBI. Thomsen and Reed Stanbery each had a hit, run and RBI.
The second game against Lake Roosevelt was reversal of the first, as the Mountain Lions lost, 11-1.
“We were in and out of trouble all day on the mound, and the defense was not so solid,” Wilbur said. “We need to learn how to stop the bleeding and get outs when things are going against us. We gave a good team too many chances and they were more than ready to take advantage of them.”
Thomsen started on the mound and got through three innings “before the wheels fell off for us,” Wilbur said. Holston “came in and battled to get us through the fourth inning.”
Jacob McMillan had two hits, and Alumbaugh had one.
Liberty Bell will face Pateros at home on Thursday (April 28) at 4 p.m., then will travel to Brewster on Friday (April 29).