Apr 7, 2009
Flames take two of three from VMI
by Axel Cerny
In a season that will most likely tally up near 60 games, streaks become essential in college baseball. Teams battle into the heat of summer, after their classmates have graduated or retreated home for a three month haitus, to ride out win streaks as long as possible and cut short the losing skids that are certain to come.
Fortunately for the Liberty Flames this year, their experiences with streaks have been much more on the winning side than the losing. After rattling off nine straight victories entering last Monday’s contest, though, the Flames cooled off to lose three straight to open up this week. However, like a successful baseball team should, they bounced back quickly, winning their weekend series against Big South Conference foe Virginia Military Institute (VMI) this past weekend.
The Flames ball club suffered a loss on Tuesday, as they took their game to Norfolk, Va. to battle the 8-15 Monarchs of Old Dominion. Junior center fielder Curran Redal put the Flames in front 1-0 with an RBI single in the top of the third, but Old Dominion stole back the advantage for good in the bottom of the fourth on a single from Monarch third baseman Jake McAloose and a home run only two batters later off the bat of first baseman Joe Velleggia. Senior starter Cody Brown suffered the loss for Liberty despite pitching five strong innings, dropping his personal record to 1-1 on the season, while Monarch starter Chris Boggs picked up the win to move to 2-0.
Liberty was in Farmville, Va. on Thursday, for a visit with the Longwood Lancers. Once again, the Flames jumped to a 3-1 lead early, courtesy of a fielder’s choice, a wild pitch and an RBI single by freshman first baseman Trey Wimmer, but their lead would not hold. The Lancers scored four runs on four hits in the fourth, including a three-run double off the bat of shortstop Scott Kimble. Longwood would add a run in the fifth and seventh inning to finish with a 7-3 win over Liberty. Flames’ senior Tyler Light suffered the loss to fall to 1-2 on the year, while Mike Montgomery grabbed the win in relief to move the Lancers 16-9.
Friday night, the Flames opened up a three-game weekend series at Gray/Minor stadium in Lexington against Big South rival VMI. VMI entered the series 5-3 in the conference and 11-15 overall.
The first contest of the three-game set on Friday night was all Keydets, but early on, Liberty once again jumped out to an early lead 1-0 lead in the first as shortstop Matt Williams led off the game with a triple and was plated moments later by a single off the bat of Redal.
VMI countered in the bottom half of the first with two runs of their own and by the fourth inning held an 11-1 advantage mostly thanks to four RBIs on a triple and home run off the bat of Alex Haitsuka. The Flames would slowly chip away at the lead throughout the remaining innings, but the VMI offense was too much in game one as the Keydets finished the game with a 13-6 advantage.
Contact Axel Cerny at
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