Liberty’s American Legion baseball team brought the potential winning run to the plate in the ninth inning Friday, but consecutive strikeouts ended the game as the Patriots lost 9-6 to host Fairfield, Calif., in the Western Regional.
Jesse Keiser’s two-run triple cut the lead to 9-6, and Daniel Skelly and Chris Bradford walked to load the bases. Fairfield reliever Kyle Wagner then struck out Griffin Kelly and Joe Maurer.
Liberty trailed 9-1 before Keiser belted a three-run homer in the seventh inning to get the Patriots going. Liberty’s other run came in the third on an RBI single by Michael Vargas.
The Patriots fell behind 4-0 after two innings. Fairfield scored a run in the first, then got a two-run triple by Wagner and an RBI triple from Michael Brown in the second.
Fairfield added four runs in the sixth on two hits, as Liberty pitchers walked four and the Patriots made an error.
Keiser was 2-for-5 with five RBIs, and Vargas and Jay Martz each went 2-for-4. Vargas scored twice.
Liberty (27-8) plays Albuquerque, N.M., at 3 p.m. today in an elimination game.