Apr 20, 2010

Comeback kids sweep VMI

by Axel Cerny

If you have paid any sort of attention to this year’s Flames baseball team, you know they are good. In fact, the Flames 2010 baseball squad is on pace for possibly the best season in school history.

This was a week of serious competition for the Flames as Elon came into Lynchburg on Tuesday 21-12 on the year and held a 26th national ranking in the Collegiate Baseball poll.

Though the Flames had just seen their four-game win streak snapped by Elon on Tuesday, they were prepared to do some streak-breaking of their own when VMI came to town on Friday. The No. 26 Keydets were coming off a win against No. 1 Virginia and had won nine straight contests.

“We knew coming in that if we were going to make a run at something thinking we deserve to be in a regional, this would be the weekend we’d need to do something. We have to win this series if we’re going to be considered a serious threat in the Big South,” Toman said.

Toman’s thoughts were taken to heart by his team. Down 6-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh on Friday, Liberty came storming back with six runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth, to take a 12-6 lead.

Trey Wimmer got the rally going with a two-run homer for the Flames, while shortstop Matt Williams contributed with a two-run triple. VMI rallied to bring it to 12-9, but that would be all they could do against the offensive outpouring of the Flames. Flames starter Shawn Teufel hung in there for the win against a powerful VMI offense, moving to 7-1 on the year, and Wimmer led the offense with four RBIs.

In the second game of the series, Liberty found itself heading into the bottom of the sixth down 6-2. Starter Keegan Linza had been hit hard for the first time this year, and the Flames needed some more comeback offense.

Enter Curran Redal. Redal laced a two-run double into the right field corner and Liberty built five more runs onto the inning. Closer Josh Richardson sealed the victory for the Flames, and reliever Dane Beakler picked up the victory to move to 2-2.

Searching for the sweep on Sunday, Liberty showed up in a big way with a 19-hit attack against VMI.

The Keydets scored first, but the Flames answered in the fourth with four runs of their own, keyed by a big double of the wall from second baseman P.J. Jimenez, making it 4-2. In the bottom of the sixth, Liberty busted the game open for good, pushing their lead to 9-2, courtesy of a bases loaded single from Williams.

Steven Evans pitched a solid game for the Flames in their 13-8 victory, allowing only three runs through 6 1/3 innings pitched, moving him to 5-1 on the year.

Following the sweep, the Flames record stands at 25-10 overall (9-3 Big South), while VMI now has a 29-8 record overall (10-5 Big South).

Contact Axel Cerny
at axelcerny@gmail.com

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