LIBERTY — Both high school baseball teams in Liberty have started the year on fire, but only one team was able to claim the Metro Leadoff Tournament championship.
Liberty North took those bragging rights after the Eagles scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to beat Liberty 2-0 in the final game of the tournament’s 20th anniversary celebration Thursday, March 24 at Creekside Baseball Park in Parkville.
Both teams required elite pitching performances to stay even at zero through the many at-bats for two high-powered offenses. Liberty North (6-2) is averaging 6.5 runs per game through eight outings while Liberty (7-1) is averaging 5.4 through seven games.
The Eagles pitching duo of junior Aaron Lewis and sophomore Ty Wisdom shutdown a Liberty offense that had scored at least four runs in their 4-0 stretch to start the season.
Lewis went five innings as the Liberty North starter, allowing two hits and zero runs as he struck out five batters. Wisdom cleaned up with three strikeouts and one hit allowed over the final two innings.
Sophomore Kai Bennett gave Liberty a clean four and a third innings with two strikeouts and no hits. Senior Justin Agnor struck out four batters in a closer role, but the Eagles did just enough to get a hit and send two runners home.
Liberty were unable to respond in the bottom of the ninth.
Liberty North senior Jett Buck picked up the lone hit for the Eagles while Wisdom and senior Quentin Platt earned an RBI. Liberty senior Ryan Williams gained two hits in the game and sophomore Addison Smith picked up one hit.
Liberty North slipped a little in the next outing, losing 4-2 against Lee’s Summit West, before earning a 2-1 win over Blue Springs and pulling out a narrow 6-5 win over Kearney. The Eagles will face Blue Springs again on Wednesday, March 31, this time at Liberty North High School.
Liberty recovered with 3-1 and 5-4 wins over Grain Valley before a 9-6 victory over Raymore-Peculiar on Monday, March 29. The Blue Jays faced on Lee’s Summit North in a conference road game Wednesday, March 31 at Lee’s Summit North High School. The final result was not available at Courier-Tribune press time.