DEFENSIVE MISCUES DOOM TWINS
Five Derby errors and a relentless Hays offense that cranked out 15 hits resulted in a 10-2 Larks victory on Friday night at Panther Field. After Twins starter Nick Rathke kept Hays off the board in the top of the first, the Larks struck for one in the second, two in the third, and three more in the third to grab a commanding 6-0 lead. A solo home run from Mike Mioduszewski would stretch the advantage to 7-0 in the top of the sixth, before Derby got on the bottom half courtesy of a two-run double from Dustin Miller to cut the deficit to 7-2. But Nate Olinger singled home a run in the eighth off Derby reliever Luke Veltri made the score 8-2, and a two-run single from Mioduszewski in the top of the ninth produced the final margin of 10-2. The two squads will conclude their series tomorrow evening in Derby, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00.
TWINS PLAY HOST TO LEAGUE-LEADING LARKS
After concluding their six-game western Kansas roadtrip, the Derby Twins have returned to the friendly confines of Panther Field for a two-game series against the first place Hays Larks. The Twins dropped two of three to the Liberal Bee Jays, bringing their second half record to 7-9. Meanwhile, Hays took two of three from the Bethany Bulls to enter the series opener with a 10-5 record. First pitch of each game is scheduled for 7:00 pm.
EARLY KNOCKOUT BLOW GIVES LIBERAL RUBBER MATCH
A three-run bottom of the first and a four-run bottom of the fourth gave the Liberal Bee Jays a lead they would never relinquish as they knocked off the Derby Twins in the series finale 13-6 at Brent Gould Field. Left-hander Reed Michel made his first start for the Twins, and ran into trouble with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the first. Back-to-back walks, a single, and then a double from Blake Brewster gave Liberal an early 3-0 lead. Michel then walked in a run in the second to make it 4-0, but induced a 5-2-3 double play to skirt around further damage. Derby dented the scoreboard in the top of the fourth, when Mason OBrien singled and came around to score on a groundout from Brady Pfaadt. But the Bee Jays would respond with a four-spot in the bottom of the inning, and then answered two Twins runs with three more in the fifth to make the score 11-3. Derby got its runs on a Bryce Fischer groundout and two Liberal errors, but the Bee Jays continued the attack against reliever Jason Plyn, as Blake Jenkins smacked an RBI double to extend the lead to 12-3 heading to the eighth. An RBI groundout from Logan Burke and another Liberal error made it 12-5, but Jake Englehart surrendered a single run in the bottom half to restore the advantage to 13-5. An RBI single from OBrien in the ninth ended the scoring, as the Twins dropped the series two games to one. Derby will have the day off on Thursday before opening a two-game set against the Hays Larks on Friday, first pitch from Panther Field is set for 7:00.
MONSTER NIGHT FROM FISCHER PROPELS TWINS TO VICTORY
Twins rightfielder Bryce Fischer went 3-3 with two home runs, a walk, a hit by pitch, and turned a game-ending double play as Derby evened the series with an 8-4 win over the Liberal Bee Jays on Tuesday night at Brent Gould Field. Fischer started off the ballgame with a bang, slicing a solo homer out to the gap in left-center on the second pitch from Liberal starter Andrew Schwulst. Blake Brewster responded with a solo homer of his own in the bottom of the second, tying the score at 1-1. Fischer skied his second solo shot out to left in the third, giving the Twins a short-lived 2-1 lead. Three Bee Jays runs crossed the plate in the third, the big blow coming courtesy of Kyle Knauth, who delivered an RBI double and then scored on a groundout. But the Twins responded immediately in the top of the fourth, using RBI singles from Dustin Miller and Grayson McCurry and then a two-run single from Fischer to seize a 6-4 lead. That would prove to be all the support that Derby starter Nick Burnham would need, as the big righty battled his way through seven innings while preserving the lead. Thomas Harper provided some critical insurance, dumping a two-run single into right field with two outs in the seventh to extend the advantage to 8-4. From there the Twins turned things over to Anthony Baleto, who worked a 1-2-3 eighth, but ran into trouble in the ninth. A leadoff walk and a double put Liberal runners at second and third with nobody out. A lineout to center produced the first out, and a diving catch by Fischer in right secured the second out. But Taylor, trying to tag up and score from third, left the base early and was ruled out on appeal to end the game. The Twins improve to 14-24 on the season and 7-8 in the second half of Jayhawk League play. The two teams will meet tomorrow in the series rubber game, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.
WALKS CRIPPLE TWINS IN SERIES OPENER
Thirteen walks and six Derby errors helped Liberal run away with game one of the series by the score of 10-1. The problems started in the bottom half of the first, as Twins starter Tyler Nelson ran into trouble two two outs and nobody on. A walk, a single, two more walks, and two more singles plated three Bee Jay runs. Bryce Fisher gunned down Owen Taylor at the plate to prevent further damage. A 4-6-3 double play plated another run in the second, and an error and a fielders choice in third made it 6-0. That was the end for Nelson, and Twins reliever Cayce Rocco faired little better, surrendering an RBI triple and a bases-loaded walk to make it 8-0 Bee Jays after five innings of play. Luke Veltri battled control issues in his two innings of work, walking five allowing Liberal to seize a 10-0 lead heading into the eighth. Derby finally got on the board against Bee Jays reliever Jacob Moreland, as Fischer smacked a leadoff triple and came around to score on a Brennan Grant RBI triple to cut the lead to 10-1. Doug Rhodes fired a scoreless bottom of the eighth, but Derby was turned aside in the ninth by Blake Brewster. The Twins will continue the series tomorrow night at Brent Gould Field, with first pitch coming at 7:00 pm.