Mar 31, 2009

Men's Baseball

by Jordan LoSasso

Sophomore Doug Bream saw the sign to hit away and took advantage of an opportunity.

The Flames were down 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth, and on the verge of throwing away a pitching gem by Steven Evans. With the rain trickling off his helmet and junior Curran Redal on first base, Bream connected with a fastball and lined it into the right center field gap, scoring Redal on the double.

Later in the inning, Tyler Bream walked with the bases loaded to give the Flames the 2-1 victory over the Presbyterian Blue Hose in the first game of the weekend series on Friday.

“When Redal got a hit, the book says you’ve got to bunt him over,” Coach Jim Toman said. “But I wasn’t in the mood to bunt our best hitter. We haven’t been bunting all year, and Bream’s been getting big hits all year, so I figured, give him another shot.”

“I saw the sign for hit away so I tried to focus, hit the ball hard and extend the inning,” Doug said.

The late rally gave Evans the complete-game victory, improving his record to 4-0. Evans allowed only one run on six hits and recorded six strikeouts. Evans never doubted that the previously hot-swinging Flames would get on the scoreboard.

“I knew eventually we would put something together and somebody would come through,” Evans said. “We had faith in ourselves. Curran had a great at-bat and Doug (Bream) came up big.”

Doug Bream amassed three of Liberty’s six hits. The Flames put runners on base consistently, but Presbyterian pitchers forced three double plays to end all the Flames rallies before the ninth.

“We put the ball in play, and they just made plays,” Doug said.

A similar story, only with a different first name, transpired Saturday afternoon. Tyler Bream came to the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning with runners in scoring position. Bream drove home both runners on a single to center field to give the Flames a 2-0 advantage, which proved to be the game winner with a final score of 2-1.

Tyler atoned for leaving a runner on third base in the second inning.

“After missing it the first time (a slider in his first at-bat), I wanted to help my team, and it was good to come through for them,” Tyler said.
Liberty gave up only one run in the game, while being carried by another dominant pitching performance. Junior Mark Swanson pitched eight innings, and had eight strikeouts.

“I had all three pitches working today. I felt like I kept them off balance and had them guessing from time to time,” Swanson said.

The only Presbyterian run came in the fifth inning. After a double that hit the left field wall, left fielder Mack Hite singled home the runner from second.

The Flames’ bats were uncharacteristically silent for the second game against the Blue Hose, but escaped with victories in both because of solid defense and pitching.

“Pitching and defense wins games but it would be nice to get a few more hits,” Toman said.

“It’s good to know we can win the close game, but I rather bash them around,” Tyler said.

Earlier in the week, Liberty scored 17 runs on a season-high 23 hits to “bash around” North Carolina State (NC State) en route to a 17-5
slugfest.

The Flames ignited in the first inning with five runs. Left fielder Jeff Jefferson highlighted the inning with a two-run home run.

NC State cut the deficit to one in the third inning, 5-4, but the Flames quickly rallied to tally 12 runs in the last six innings.

Freshman Trey Wimmer led the Flames with four hits and four RBIs. Tyler Bream followed pace with three hits, four runs and three RBIs. Swanson was credited for the win.

Contact Jordan LoSasso at
jlosasso@liberty.edu.


 


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