April 4, 2009 - 2:41 pm
After watching his team lose four one-run games in less than three weeks, Liberty baseball coach Nick Didier sensed his players’ “confidence and morale was down a little bit.”
But on Saturday, the Patriots reversed the trend with a 2-1 win at Faith Lutheran.
“It’s nice to get this one and get on the ‘W’ side for once,” Didier said. “We went on a little losing skid there, but hopefully this gets us on track, we start hitting the ball a little bit and get a few more one-run games.”
Kyle Rynearson’s sacrifice fly to right field scored Robert Kinan with the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh inning.
Liberty sophomore right-hander Trevor Williams pitched a complete game to help the Patriots (6-8) snap a six-game losing streak. He scattered six hits, walked two and struck out seven in gaining his first varsity win.
“I found my rhythm early in the game, and my momentum kept me going,” said Williams, who entered the fourth inning with a no-hitter.
Faith Lutheran (4-13) had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Ryan Buuck’s attempted safety squeeze resulted in an improbable double play.
When Liberty first baseman Dylan Rogers made a diving catch in foul territory of Buuck’s popup, Faith Lutheran runner Christian Lopez was halfway home. So Rogers threw to third base for the out to end the game.
“It’s a good bunter at the plate and an aggressive player at third,” Crusaders coach Tony Girod said. “I don’t think we made the wrong call in doing that. We just didn’t execute.”
Williams said: “The last play, I was thinking, ‘Oh, God, I hope Dylan catches it.’ It was a tough play for him, and I’m glad he caught it and made the throw.”
Rogers doubled twice for Liberty, which was searching for momentum after an 0-5 start in the Southeast League.
Bobby Burns was 2-for-3 with a double for Class 3A Faith Lutheran, which has scheduled 14 games against 4A teams as it prepares to join 4A next year.
The Crusaders fell to 0-6 against 4A teams, but three of those losses have come by two or fewer runs.