BY JIM MISUNAS
LIBERAL – The Great Bend Bat Cats trailed Liberal 5-0, and by all rights should've packed their bags.
But that's not Roger Ward's style.
The Bat Cats shocked the five-time NBC World Series champion 7-6 with an incredible rally for the greatest victory of the summer. Alex Rodgers singled home Seth Kenagy for the game-winning hit in the ninth inning. Kenagy drew the Bat Cats' 12th walk of the night to lead off the ninth inning off pitcher Calvin Hunt.
New Mexico Military pitcher Adrian Talavera struck out even batters in five innings of brilliant pitching. Talavera struck out Nate White for the final out. Catcher Chandler Bloomer keyed the defense by throwing out Trenkle and A.J. Folds on attempted steals.
Liberal's Caeden Trenkle tripled home Nate White for a 6-6 tie after eight innings.
NBC World Series-bound Liberal (28-7) dropped to 16-2 at Brent Gould Field. The Bee Jays won four of seven games against the Bat Cats (19-20). Liberal was invited to the 2020 NBC World Series, but the Bat Cats got the last laugh.
The Bee Jays stormed to a 5-0 lead. Caeden Trenkle stole home in the first inning. Wyatt Grant scored on a wild pitch in a four-run second inning. Aidan Shepardson scored on an error. Trenkle and A.J.Folds scored on bases-loaded walks for a 5-0 lead.
Six walks helped the Bat Cats climb within 5-4. Brady Michel scored on Chance Ragsdale's sacrifice fly to start a three-run fourth inning. Seth Kenagy singled home Chandler Bloomer. Tyler Henry scored on an error.
Bloomer scored on Kenagy's bases-loaded fifth-inning walk for a 5-4 score. Collin Meinert singled home Ragsdale and Kenagy for a 6-5 lead in the seventh inning off Oklahoma State reliever John Kelly.
BAT CATS 7, BEE JAYS 6
Bat Cats 000 310 201 – 7 8 2
Bee Jays 140 000 010 – 6 8 3
Curry, Talavera (5) and Bloomer. Evans, Shoemaker (3), Duffey (5), Brown (6), Kelly (7), Hankins (8), Hunt (9) and Brewer, Donovan (9). W–Talavera. L–Hunt. 3B–L–Trenkle.