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Liberty Downs Richmond, 10-7
The Liberty Flames jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two innings of play and then received a solid relief effort from pitcher Shawn Clowers, en route to a 10-7 win over the Richmond Spiders, Tuesday night at the Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Liberty struck for two runs in the first inning and four in the second to take a 6-0 lead, they never relinquished.
After the Spiders plated five runs in the third inning, Clowers entered the game with two outs and two men on and he retired the next batter on a ground out to end the scoring threat. The left-hander went on to give up two runs on two hits over 5 1/3 innings of work to run his record to 4-0 on the season. He struck out six batters and walked one.
Liberty moves to 26-8 on the season. The Flames have won four-straight contests and 12 out of their last 13. Richmond drops to 14-15-1 on the year.
Liberty plated two two-out runs in the first. With right fielder Will Shepherd and second baseman Ryan Seiz on board, shortstop Dalton Britt singled to score Shepherd for a 1-0 edge. First baseman Alex Close followed with a RBI single for a 2-0 advantage.
Liberty added to its lead with four runs in the second. After the Flames loaded the bases with one out, Shepherd plated the first run of the inning, reaching on a fielding error by Richmond starter Peter Bayer. Designated hitter Becker Sankey followed by lining a double into the right field corner to clear the bases to give Liberty a 6-0 lead.
Richmond struck for five runs in the top of the third. After left fielder Eric Flanagan singled to lead off the inning, second baseman Mike Small tripled into the right fielder corner for the Spiders' first run of the contest. Catcher Cory Moheit followed with a ground rule double to make it, 6-2. Center fielder Tanner Stanley then hit a two-run home run, his fourth of the year, cutting the Liberty advantage to 6-4. Later in the inning, the Spiders scored again on a single by designated hitter Kurtis Brown, trimming the Flames' edge to one at 6-5.
In the home half of the third, Liberty answered with three runs. With one out, catcher Danny Grauer was hit by a pitch and third baseman Dylan Allen singled. Center fielder Ashton Perritt followed by ripping a triple into the right field gap for a three-run Liberty advantage at 8-5. Two batters later, Shepherd lifted a sacrifice fly to plate Perritt for a 9-5 lead.
Richmond cut into the Liberty lead again in the fifth. With a runner aboard, third baseman Matt Dacey lined his eighth home run over the right field fence, moving the Spiders to within two at 9-7.
The Flames extended their advantage to what proved to be the final score of 10-7 in the sixth. With one out, Seiz singled and advanced to third on a single by Sankey. Britt followed with a ground out, scoring Seiz for a three-run edge.
Perritt retired the side in order in the top of the ninth to earn his eighth save of the year and close out the Liberty win.
Richmond starter Peter Bayer drops to 1-2 on the season. He was roughed up for nine runs on five hits over three innings. He struck out three and walked four batters.
Hits were even in the game at 10-10. Allen, Perritt and Sankey each had two hits for the Flames. Dacey collected three hits for the Spiders.
Liberty takes to the road for a three-game Big South series at Longwood. The series opens Friday evening at Bolding Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.