Liberty showed its mental toughness throughout the Class AA, Region II, Section 1 tournament, and that may have been the difference for the Mountaineers success.
After losing the opening game of the double elimination tournament, the Mountaineers proceeded to win the necessary four games and finished the comeback with a 4-2 victory over Doddridge County Friday afternoon at Liberty High School.
"Once you lose that first game, then you have got give our kids credit for bouncing back, and this sectional title is a compliment to our whole team," Liberty coach Pete Iquinto said.
The contest was an excellent pitchers' duel between Liberty's Andrew Knight and Doddridge County's Lucas Phillips.
Knight went the distance to get the win, giving up two runs on four hits, while striking out nine and walking only two.
Phillips was equally impressive in a losing effort. He went the distance, giving up four runs on five hits, while walking three and striking out two.
"You have got to tip your hat to Lucas Phillips and Doddridge County for coming in here and battling the way they did," Iquinto said.
However, things did not start out well for both pitchers.
Doddridge (9-15) struck for two runs on three hits in the first inning against Knight. After two outs, Ben McKinney singled and Mark Boyce walked.
Tim Bailey came through with a single to right, scoring McKinney with the game's first run. Darren Swisher followed with a single to right-center, scoring Boyce and staking the Bulldogs to a 2-0 lead.
"I am proud of the way the kids came back after a tough game yesterday and battled to the end," Doddridge County coach Dave Mires said. "Lucas held a good Liberty team to four runs, and we showed a lot of character."
But the lead was short-lived, as the Mountaineers (24-8) scored three runs on two hits in the bottom of the first for a 3-2 advantage.
John Conch led off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and went to third on a Dustin Morris single to left. Conch scored the first Liberty run on another wild pitch by Phillips.
Jackie Hurst then jumped on a high fastball and deposited it over the center field fence to put Liberty in front to stay.
The Mountaineers added an insurance run in the sixth inning, as Craig Moore led off with solo home run over the right center field fence to give Liberty a 4-2 lead.
Bailey went 2-for-3 to lead all hitters in the contest.