Liberty baseball falls to Kentridge

For second time in three years, Liberty starts the season winless in its first two contests.

The start of the season has not been too kind to the Liberty baseball program so far this year.

After collapsing in the season opening game against Skyline on March 11, the Patriots just couldn’t find a groove on offense in a 7-3 loss to Kentridge on March 12.

“It is early in the season and we’re just trying to figure out our timing,” said Liberty’s skipper Kevin Frey.

Despite struggling to get on base, the Patriots were able to string together some at-bats early in the game. Jack Warren got on base with a one out single. After back-to-back Charger errors, Warren scored on a failed double play. Ryan Boehm hit a ground ball to third, which was then attempted to be thrown around the horn, but the ball dribbled past the glove of the Charger first baseman Ethan Sugimoto, which allowed Warren to score with ease.

Liberty lefty Wade Treloggen was off to a fairly decent start on the mound. After sitting the Chargers down in order in the first, he allowed one run to score on a wild pitch, which tied the game 1-1.

Warren’s single was the only hit from a Patriot named not Tyler Peschl for the rest of the game. Liberty took a 2-1 lead over the Chargers in the bottom of the third without recording a hit. A Mac Reynolds leadoff walk kick-started the inning. Then, two ground outs later, Reynolds came around to score thanks to Rohne Klein hitting the ball to the second baseman.

The game got out of hand in the fourth and fifth innings for the Patriots. Over those two innings, Kentridge sent 15 batters to the plate and scored six runs. Liberty pitchers walked five of those 15 batters and gave up just four hits over those two frames.

As fast as the pitching put Kentridge in front, the Liberty bats cooled off just as quickly. After Peschl doubled and scored in the top of the fifth, Liberty didn’t get a runner on base until the seventh inning with two outs.

“That is baseball, sometimes. Some days you get after it and you get some breaks and things go your way. Sometimes you leave it in the umpire’s hands, some guys did that today. But also sometimes you just hit the ball right at guys,” Frey said.

The lack of production is just a byproduct of being early in the season — and with players really trying to find their place in the order and on the team.

“It’s early in the season and we’re replacing a couple key parts of last season and trying to find a couple roles,” Frey said.

Liberty’s offensive mentality just wasn’t in the right spot in their second game of the season. A mentality of maybe being too aggressive might have hamstrung the Patriots’ offense without them even knowing.

“We were out in front and he kept throwing strikes. We’re trying to pull the ball. We gotta use the whole field,” Frey said.

The Patriots’ offense grounded out to the Kentridge shortstop seven times in the four run loss. It was just one of those days for Liberty: “We hit it to their shortstop a lot. That guy could have a highlight video today for defense,” said Frey.

Liberty may be 0-2 to start the year, but they have high goals and aspirations for this season. For a team that made the state tournament last year for the first time in four years, they want to stay there.

“They expect to succeed and do well. I think it is going to come down to if we can get guys to fill roles that we need to fill to make it a successful season,” Frey said.

Ryan Boehm puts a ball in play against the Kentridge Chargers. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Ryan Boehm puts a ball in play against the Kentridge Chargers. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Rohne Klein gets ready for a pitch to hit against the Kentridge Chargers. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Rohne Klein gets ready for a pitch to hit against the Kentridge Chargers. Ben Ray / The Reporter