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Bolts and Spartans split in season opener

Liberty High falls 5-1 to Solon, but takes nightcap 11-8

North Liberty Leader
CEDAR RAPIDS– “Let’s have some fun, fellas.” With those words, Tom Cronk sent his Liberty High Lightning, AKA: “The BOLTS,” out on the diamond to open the 2019 season at their home away from home, Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids (Liberty’s “home diamond” this season). The Bolts took on the Solon Spartans in a non-conference doubleheader Monday, May 20, and split with a 5-1 game one loss and an 11-8 nightcap victory.
Solon did its damage in the top of the fifth in game one with one run walking in with the bases loaded, and two runs driven in by Chris McSweeney on an RBI double. The Spartans added one run each in the sixth and seventh innings as well. Liberty’s Cayden Duhaime scored in the bottom of the seventh, with the bases loaded, on a balk.
The Bolts had four hits from Tyler Dahm (a double), Isaac Bender, Nolan Frey and Duhaime. Frey worked four innings on the mound, giving up two hits, walking three and striking out six. Brady Houser was charged with the loss for two innings of work. Houser gave up three hits and four earned runs, walked four and struck out one. Cody Schroeder pitched one inning giving up one hit and one run. Schroeder walked one and struck out one.
Liberty came out swinging with three runs in the bottom of the first inning in the nightcap. Frey singled, a pitch hit Alec Boldt and Sam Funke walked to load the bases. Keian Secrist then blasted a three-RBI double for an early 3-0 lead. Solon retaliated with six runs in a very long top of the second inning. The Spartans loaded the bases, walked in two runs, Adam Bock knocked an RBI single for the third run, a fourth run walked in, and Cole Arduser smacked a two-RBI single before Liberty’s Funke could get out of the inning. Funke took over for Duhaime after 1-1/3 innings.
Frey slapped a two-RBI double in the bottom of the second to narrow the gap as Liberty trailed 6-5.
The Bolts ended the contest 11-8 with six runs. Secrist knocked a pair of doubles and drove in three runs, while Dahm (double), Bender (RBI), Frey (four RBI) and Norris had one hit apiece. Norris was awarded the win with four innings on the mound. He gave up two hits, walked two and struck out eight. Duhaime pitched 1-1/3 innings giving up one hit and six runs (four earned). Duhaime walked five and struck out two. Isaiah Pihl pitched one inning giving up one hit and two runs (one earned) with one strikeout, and Funke pitched 2/3 of an inning giving up one hit and walking two.
Liberty hosts Waterloo West in a doubleheader on Friday, May 31, at Mount Mercy with the first pitch set for 5 p.m. The Bolts will face Iowa City West High in a two-day sophomore/varsity doubleheader on Monday, June 3, (at West) and Tuesday, June 4, at Mount Mercy with a 7 p.m. varsity start for both nights. The Lightning head for Linn-Mar’s Oak Ridge Middle School on Friday, June 7, to take on the Lions in a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m.