The wind wasn’t blowing as hard in the Las Vegas Valley on Friday as it was on Thursday. But it was blowing hard enough at Liberty’s baseball field to push a ball over the fence.
Jacob Rogers smiled at the thought that his sixth-inning homer was wind-aided, but the result was the same. It broke a tie and helped the Patriots take down visiting Silverado 7-4.
“Somebody was helping me upstairs, but I sure made a good swing on it,” Rogers said. “I squared the ball up good. I’m just happy it happened in that time.”
The Patriots had just battled back to tie the game in the fifth inning on a lightning-fast sequence. In the span of four pitches and down 3-1, Liberty went single, single, bunt, error to score two runs before Silverado could blink.
Then Rogers, who has committed to UNLV, got a hold of an 0-and-2 pitch to lead off the sixth inning and poked it over the right-field fence to give the Patriots a 4-3 lead. It served as a spark plug for what turned into a four-run inning for the Patriots, so when Silverado got one back in the seventh, it was too little, too late.
“We always say to our team we want to score seven and give up less than three,” Liberty coach Todd Faranda said. “We came close.”
The Patriots on the mound were far better than the four runs on Silverado’s side of the scoreboard would suggest. Senior starter Michael Wong mowed down the Skyhawks, striking out eight in five innings. He gave way to freshman Jordan Bohnet in the sixth, who struck out two and recorded the win.
Together, they allowed one earned run.
“It’s going to be (Wong’s) year to break out on the mound,” Faranda said. “(Bohnet) carries himself like a damn senior. He’s got ice in his veins.”
Wong went 2-for-3, as did senior Kevin Clark. Bohnet doubled in his only at-bat, his first varsity plate appearance.
Junior Dax Fellows went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run for the Skyhawks.
“We just kept grinding at it,” Rogers said. “Lucky that’s a ‘W’ for the Patriots.”