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Lambert and Aanderud Help Liberty Eliminate Clemson, 3-1
|Trey Lambert pitched 7 2/3 innings to pick up his eighth win of the year, Sunday afternoon in win over Clemson at the Columbia, S.C. Regional|
A strong effort by Liberty starting pitcher Trey Lambert and four hits by second baseman Bryan Aanderud, helped push the Liberty Flames past the Clemson Tigers, 3-1, Sunday afternoon in a Columbia, S.C. Regional elimination game at Carolina Stadium.
Lambert moves to 8-3 on the year, allowing one run on seven hits during his 7 2/3 innings of work. He struck out one and walked two batters. However, the key for the right-hander was that he stranded two Tigers at third base and three at second base.
Aanderud collected a season-high four hits and drove in two runs. The senior's four-hit game ties a career-high and is his team-leading 24th multiple-hit contest of the year.
Liberty moves to 36-28 on the year and advances to the regional final against South Carolina, tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN3. It will be the first time in the history of the Flames' program that it will play in a regional final. Liberty will need to defeat the Gamecocks twice in order to claim the regional title. Clemson is eliminated from the regional and finishes the year at 40-22.
After three scoreless innings, Clemson, the visitor on the scoreboard, staked itself to an advantage by plating the first run of the contest in the top of the fourth. Right fielder Steve Duggar led off the inning with a double into the right-center field gap and scored on a single back through the middle by next batter, catcher Garrett Boulware for a 1-0 edge.
Liberty answered with runs in the bottom of the fourth to go in front on the scoreboard. The Flames opened the frame with back-to-back singles by center fielder Ryan Cordell and catcher Trey Wimmer. Designated hitter Danny Grauer was then hit by a pitch to fill the bases for Aanderud, who dropped a two-run single into left field for a 2-1 Liberty lead. Two batters later, Aanderud was thrown out at home plate attempting to score on a fly ball to left by shortstop Dalton Britt to end the inning.
In their next at bat, the Flames extended their advantage. With one out in the fifth, right fielder Ashton Perritt singled and moved to second on a passed ball. Cordell then walked and both runners executed a double steal to put a pair in scoring position. Wimmer followed by lifting a sacrifice fly to score Perritt for a 3-1 edge.
Meanwhile, Lambert kept Clemson at bay, as the Tigers were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position through the first six innings.
In the eighth, Clemson moved two runners into scoring position with two outs, but came away empty. With two outs, Duggar and Boulware reached on back-to-back singles. Perritt was then summoned from right field to relieve Lambert. After a wild pitch allowed both runners to advance to second and third, Perritt struck out Tiger third baseman Shane Kennedy to end the inning.
In the ninth, a leadoff single by shortstop Tyler Kreiger and a two-out walk to left fielder Tyler Slaton brought the go-ahead run to the plate for the Tigers, but Perritt retired the next batter to seal the 3-1 win and earn his 10th save of the season.
Clemson starter Matthew Crowner takes the loss to finish his year at 7-3. The left-hander, the first of three Tiger pitchers, gave up two runs on five hits over four innings. He struck out three batters and walked one.
Hits in the contest were even at 8-8 between the two teams. Boulware had three hits to pace Clemson.
Liberty's Lambert and Perritt combined to strand eight Tigers, seven in scoring position. Clemson batters were 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position.