RiverDawgs win No. 300; Liebert hits first collegiate homer

July 2, 2019 | 12:42 am

Updated July 2, 2019 | 12:42 am

Kirk Liebert (4) hit his first collegiate home run in the Owensboro RiverDawgs win on Monday. | Photo by Ryan Richardson

The RiverDawgs rolled to their 300th regular-season victory behind a strong day at the plate by Josh Bennett, and Owensboro native Kirk Liebert hit his first collegiate-level home run late in the game.

Bennett had a three-run blast of his own to lift Owensboro’s summer collegiate team to an 8-3 victory over the Franklin Duelers at home Monday night. The RiverDawgs also moved into a half-game lead in the Ohio Valley League overall standings and maintained a three-game advantage in the East Division.

Bennett also had a double, scored four times and drove in three runs. His homer put Owensboro up 3-2 in the first inning, and they pulled away throughout the game.

“I was taking it easy, relaxing at the plate and trying to do some damage and get some guys in,” Bennett said. “The team put a really good effort into getting guys on base and just swinging the bat well tonight in general.”

Liebert, a Daviess County High School graduate who now plays for Wabash Valley College, led off the bottom of the eighth with a solo homer to left field.

“It felt really good,” Liebert said. “It’s my first one since high school. It was a crack, and all I could say was wow.”

Owensboro manager Vic Evans — who recently set the franchise record for most coaching wins by breaking the previous mark of 75 — said getting to 300 regular season victories is a big accomplishment. But, he’s looking at the bigger picture.

“It’s really nice for the franchise, but I like it even better that we’re playing good,” he said.

The Dawgs have won nine of their last 11 and will be busy through the remainder of the year. With nearly an entire week of games lost due to weather conditions, Owensboro will now play about 20 games over the next two and a half weeks.

Evans said the packed schedule may be a positive for the team.

“The good thing is because of all the rainouts early, it’s really compacted,” Evans said of the schedule. “I think the grind will help, because you just get up and you’re playing again. I think that will keep us focused on what we have to do next.”

Bennett and Liebert said even though they weren’t here for many of the 300 wins, they are still glad to be a part of history.

“I feel outstanding,” Bennett said. “I like making great accomplishments. As a team, this a great job under Vic’s name. I want to break more records, and I think we could do it.”

Liebert said the RiverDawgs still have room to improve as they try to remain atop the league standings.

“We can still get better,” he said. “At the beginning of the year we were pretty hot. Our bats kind of fell down and we’re just now starting to pick them back up.”

July 2, 2019 | 12:42 am

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