The Midwest Athletics took over first place in the Mid-Plains League’s East Division with two close victories over the Liberty Monarchs last weekend.
The A’s started the series with an 8-6 victory over the former division leaders June 15 at Liberty High School. Midwest broke a 6-6 tie in the top of the ninth inning with an RBI-single from Luke Knight and an error to win the game.
Michael Briggs’ two-run double in the first inning helped the A’s take a 3-0 lead. The A’s had a 4-0 lead before the Monarchs tied it with four runs in the bottom of the fourth and tied it again with two in the seventh after the A’s scored twice in the sixth.
Shane Boyer went four for five with three RBIs and Elijah Dilday went four for five and scored two runs for the A’s, who cranked out 17 hits off two Liberty pitchers.
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In the second game June 16, Briggs hit a two-run homer during a three-run seventh inning that broke a 5-5 tie and lifted the A’s to an 8-5 victory. Midwest trailed 4-0 after the first and trailed 5-3 before tying the game with two runs in the sixth.
Tyler Perkins went three for five and drove in three runs, while Connor Sorge went two for four with two RBIs for the Athletics. Dalen Blair picked up the win with three scoreless innings in relief of starter Dalton Spurgeon.
The A’s, 10-3, maintained their new lead in the standings after splitting two games with the Rossville Rattlers earlier this week. The A’s blew a seven-run lead and lost 12-10 Monday night in Rossville, Kan, and rallied for a 4-3 victory Tuesday at Belton.
The A’s won the second game in the bottom of the ninth when Vince Saladino led off the inning with a single and scored on an error. They trailed 3-1 until Boyer hit a two-run homer in the eighth to tie the game. Boyer went four for four at the plate.
Midwest scored five runs on four hits in the first inning of the first game and held a 10-3 lead until Rossville struck for nine runs on seven hits in the seventh. Two of the Rattlers’ hits were home runs.
Nate Vossman hit a three-run homer in the first for the A’s, and Dusty Stroup added a two-run shot in the second.
The A’s will host the Baldwin City Blues for a three-game series Thursday through Saturday at Belton High School’s Al Hamra Stadium. All three games will start at 5 p.m.