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Bolts vaporize the Nikes for first wins of the season

Liberty sweeps Burlington Notre Dame, 14-2 and 19-0 in first wins
Liberty High’s Keian Secrist (6) collides with a Burlington Notre Dame Catholic runner, at home plate, Tuesday, June 5, on Mount Mercy University’s diamond, in Cedar Rapids. The Lightning posted their first two wins of the season defeating the Nikes, 14-2 and 19-0. (photo by Chris Umscheid)

CEDAR RAPIDS– The Liberty High Bolts picked up a morale boost and their first two wins of the 2018 varsity baseball season Tuesday, June 5, on Mount Mercy University’s (MMU) diamond, in Cedar Rapids. The Lightning vaporized the Nikes of Burlington Notre Dame Catholic, 14-2 and 19-0.
The Bolts opened with two runs in the bottom of the first inning of game one, added four runs in the second and six runs in the third. The Nikes scored one run each in the top of the second and fifth of the five-inning game.
Liberty racked up 18 hits in the contest with three apiece from Tyler Dahm, Isaac Bender, including a double and a triple, and Tyler White, including a triple. Sam Funke, Nolan Frey and Alec Boldt put up two hits each with a pair of doubles for Boldt. Keian Secrist, Cayden Duhaime and Max Tafolla had one hit each with a double for Duhaime. Funke drove in five runs; Bender had two RBIs with Dahm, Boldt, White, Ethan O’Donnell and Tafolla getting credit for one RBI apiece.
Secrist took the win for Liberty with four innings on the mound. He gave up two hits and one run while walking three and striking out six. Cade Maras pitched one inning giving up two hits and one run.
A 16-run second inning and lightning delay were the story lines for the nightcap. The Bolts put up three runs in the bottom of the first inning and were up, 11-0, when thunder was heard, prompting a lightning delay. When play resumed, the Bolts went back to work loading the bases several times and continuing to bring players home. Liberty held a 19-0 advantage as the inning finally ended. A scoreless third inning led to a three up, three down top of the fourth for Notre Dame and the end of the game under the mercy rule.
Despite the 19 runs, the Lightning only produced 12 hits in the contest.
“Did we really just score three runs without a hit?” Coach Tom Cronk asked an assistant at one point, due to several walks.
However, Bender, Frey, T.J. Kimm and Tafolla put up two hits each with a triple for Bender. Dahm, Secrist, Boldt and Sam Rechkemmer had one hit each. Bender and Kimm drove in three runs each; Frey and Boldt had two RBI apiece with one RBI each for Funke, Secrist and Rechkemmer.
O’Donnell took the win with two innings on the mound. He gave up no runs; no hits, walked one and struck out one. Duhaime also worked two hitless innings walking one and striking out one.
The wins provided a morale boost after a pair of season opening losses to Solon (10-2, 8-6), Cedar Rapids Jefferson (12-4), Davenport Assumption (10-0), and Davenport Central (2-0, 9-1).
The Bolts call Mount Mercy home this season, as well as the University of Iowa (U of I).
Liberty hosts a tournament on Saturday, June 16, at the U of I, and visits Benton Community (Van Horne) on Tuesday, June 19, at 7 p.m. The Bolts travel to North Scott (Eldridge) on Thursday, June 21, for a 5 p.m. doubleheader. The Lightning return to MMU on Wednesday, June 27, as the Alburnett Pirates visit for a 5 p.m. doubleheader.