Mar 24, 2009
by Jordan LoSasso, Sports Reporter
The Liberty Flames baseball team played six games in seven days and accumulated a 5-1 record in the span, improving their season record to 15-5.
The only loss of the week came at the hands of James Madison University (JMU) in the form of a 13-2 blowout.
JMU jumped on the scoreboard in the first inning on a successful double steal attempt of home and second base.
The Flames tied the game in the third frame. Curran Redal, the reigning Big South Player of the Week, singled to center field and knocked in shortstop Matt Williams for the Flames first run of the game.
The contest became a blowout by the 4th inning when the Dukes put together four runs on five hits. The Dukes started the inning off with a single and followed with a run scoring triple. The second run of the inning game after an intentional walk and an RBI single, and two doubles led to two more JMU runs.
James Madison increased the advantage in the fifth, extending the lead 6-1. In the bottom of the 7th, The Dukes continued the assault with a base-clearing double that scored three runs.
Liberty scored its only other run in the 8th inning, and the Dukes responded again with another four run inning in the bottom of the 8th to extinguish the Flames 13-2.
Starting pitcher Tyler Light took the loss for the Flames.
All Liberty needed to bounce back from their struggles against James Madison was a trip home to Worthington Stadium under the sun and 69-degree weather.
The Flames took advantage of the wind blowing out to right field by belting six homeruns in a 19-6 victory against Fordham.
Liberty countered by scoring two runs in the same inning. Redal was hit by a pitch and right fielder Doug Bream lined a homerun over the right field wall.
The Flames scored four runs in the second inning. First baseman Trey Wimmer sparked the rally with a home run, and Redal hit a three-run home run to extend Liberty’s advantage, 6-1.
Liberty knocked in three runs in the third, after the Rams scored in the top half of the inning. Jefferson led off the inning, blasting a home run to left field. Designated hitter John Long followed later in the inning with a two-run home run to give the Flames a 9-2 lead.
The Rams cut Liberty’s lead, 9-6, after scoring three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth. Liberty responded with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Errol Hollinger’s two-out RBI bunt in the sixth sparked the Flames for the final three innings.
The Flames added another six runs in the eighth inning. Bream hit his second home run of the game leading off the inning. Pinch hitter Joseph Feeley capped the inning with a three RBI double.
Liberty’s relievers pitched four shutout innings, and Wimmer led the Flames offensively with four hits and four RBIs.
The Flames hot bats and solid pitching rolled over into the next day in Liberty’s 12-1 win over Lafayette Thursday night.
Cody Brown pitched four innings and allowed only one run on three hits, and The Flames relievers pitched five hitless innings.
The Flames are in need of players to step up in place of five injured pitchers, including the staff’s top starter Dustin Umberger who is likely out for the season with an elbow injury that could require surgery.
“Someone has to step up and Cody took the ball and did a good job,” Coach Toman said.
“He struggled early on with pitches up but he competed and that’s what he does,” Hollinger said.
Brown gave up a first inning home run to the Leopards but was bailed out by the offense. Redal scored in bottom of the frame on Jefferson’s RBI single.
“We are down a few arms so it’s nice to have the offense relieve the pressure,” Hollinger said.
The Flames took the permanent lead in the second inning that produced three runs. Doug Bream lined a double down the left field line that scored three runs. The Flames rallied again in the third for five more runs that resulted from two errors by Lafayette.
Hollinger was just named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List this week, which is given to the top collegiate catcher, hit his team-leading fifth home run in the fourth to extend the advantage, 10-1.
The Flames swept Big South Conference foe High point in a three game weekend series.
“Our pitchers needed to throw strikes, we need to play good defense and get timely hitting,” Coach Toman said.
Timely hitting is what Liberty received from Justin Richardson. With the game tied 8-8 in the top of the ninth with two outs and a running on second base, Richardson lined a double to the left center field gap, scoring Wimmer, to win the game 9-8
Hollinger led the Flames in the contest with three hits.
Steven Evans provided Liberty with good pitching on Saturday night, throwing a complete game in the 7-3 victory. Tyler Bream led the Flames offensively with three hits and three RBIs.
Liberty put it all together in the final game against High Point.
Contact Jordan LoSasso at
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