The Dodge City Athletics couldn't hold the lead for the second straight night against Jayhawk League competition in falling 8-4 to the Liberal BeeJays in action Thursday night at Cavalier Field.
The Athletics led 4-3 going into the top of the eighth inning before the BeeJays scored five runs off two Dodge City relievers to fall to 10-17 overall and 5-17 in league play.
The game was the first of a home-and-home series between the two teams. The clubs battle tonight in Liberal.
Liberal (14-12, 8-12) got on the board in the top of the first on a RBI single by Brennen Johnson, but Dodge City started Kevin Marmon forced the BeeJays to leave the bases loaded due to a strikeout and groundout.
Dodge City tied the contest in the bottom of the third on a RBI fielder's choice by Ben Craft; but Liberal regained the one-run lead in the top of the fourth on a home run by Zach Hoffman.
The Athletics scored their other three runs in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run home run by Tyler Albert and Craft's second run-scoring single.
The BeeJays cut the lead down to 4-3 in the sixth inning of Hoffman's second home run of the game; and took the lead on a two-run homer by Tanner Vandevere in the eighth, then got insurance runs on a three-run dinger by Alec Isaac.
Reliever Matt Gunderson was the losing pitcher for Dodge City, being charged with four of the runs in the eighth. Giles Fox was charged with the final run in the inning. Marnon pitched six innings and gave up three earned runs, five hits and four walks while striking out seven in getting the no decision for the Athletics.
Nathan Smythe was the winning pitcher for Liberal, allowing only three his and striking out four in four innings of work.