Looking to even the score against league-leading Brewster on April 16, the Liberty Bell High School baseball team started out promising enough, but fell to the visiting Bears by a score of 13-1.
The Mountain Lions retired the first three batters in order: a routine grounder to shortstop Dusty Patterson, a Shay Crandall stab of a hot smash down the first base line and a can-of-corn catch by Brady Moriarty sent the Lions to bat in the bottom of the first feeling good.
Patterson led off the Liberty Bell first legging out an infield hit, but was thrown out at second base on Noah Holston’s ground ball to short. The Bears tried to turn the double play, the ball getting by Brewster’s first baseman. When the dust settled, Holston was standing on third and scored on a ground ball to shortstop by Peter Aspholm.
That was as good as it got for the home team as Brewster put up three runs in the second inning, four more in the third and added a six spot in the seventh inning to cap the scoring.
The Bears’ Kade Kelpmann held Liberty Bell bats at bay through the last six innings as David Kominak dropped a hit into short left field in the fifth inning, and Patterson got his second hit in the sixth. Kelpmann struck out nine Mountain Lions.
“We played fairly well defensively for most of the game,” said Coach David Aspholm. “We had some costly errors at key times.”
Indeed, five Brewster runs were scored as unearned, two in the three-run second inning and three more in the seventh.
On Saturday (April 20), things got brighter for the Mountain Lions as they put together two offensive onslaughts and swept a double-header at home against the Waterville-Mansfield Shockers, 25-3 and 15-0 — both games going only five innings under Washington’s 10-run mercy rule for high school. Crandall had three hits and five RBIs.
Liberty Bell pounded out 14 hits in the first game, and eight in the second, while holding the Shockers to three hits in game one. Peter Aspholm and David Kominak teamed up to throw a no-hitter in the second game, facing the minimum fifteen batters in the five-inning tilt.
Aspholm was perfect in his three innings, striking out eight of the nine batters he faced. Kominak walked the first batter he faced leading off the fourth, but then a perfect pick-off move erased the runner. Kominak got the next batter to pop out to Cole Rhoades at second base and then struck out the last four batters he faced to clinch the no-no and shutout victory.
Holston and Patterson each had four hits on the day. Kominak and Sam Neitlich added three hits each to the totals.
Coach Aspholm was noticeably pleased with how the team responded to Tuesday’s disappointment. “That was clean,” he said of the Liberty Bell defensive effort Saturday. “It was good sound decision-making and play all day long.”
Liberty Bell was scheduled to travel to Chelan on Monday (April 22) for a single non-league game, and then returns home on Thursday (April 25) for a 4:30 p.m. game with Cascade (Leavenworth) of the Caribou Trail League. On Saturday (Aug. 27), the Mountain Lions travel to Oroville.
Last week’s games left Liberty Bell with a 5-4 record in league play, good for fourth place, and 5-6 overall.
Brewster 13, Liberty Bell 1
Brewster 0 3 4 0 0 0 6 13 8 1
LBHS 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 5
Liberty Bell 25, Waterville-Mansfield 3
W-M 1 0 0 2 0 0 x 3 3 5
LBHS 2 7 8 8 x x x 25 14 3
Liberty Bell 15, Waterville-Mansfield 0
W-M 0 0 0 0 0 x x 0 0 5
LBHS 1 1 5 8 x x x 15 9 0