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Bean Goes the Distance as Liberty Downs Longwood, 6-1
Right-hander Parker Bean pitched the first complete game of his collegiate career and Liberty broke up a pitcher's duel with five runs in the sixth, as the Flames defeated the Longwood Lancers, 6-1, Sunday afternoon at Bolding Stadium.
Bean went the full nine innings for the first time in a Flames uniform, running his record to 6-1 on the year. The freshman, who came within two outs of a no-hitter last Sunday, did not allow Longwood a hit until the fifth inning, a single with one out. The right-hander gave up one run on five hits. He struck out 11 batters and walked one. Bean has struck out 27 batters in his last two outings.
Second baseman Ryan Seiz had three hits and scored two runs in the contest. It is the ninth three-hit game for the second baseman this season. Catcher Danny Grauer provided the big hit in the sixth inning, connecting for a three-run home run, his fifth of the year.
Liberty moves to 14-1 in Big South Conference play and 29-8 overall. The Flames have won seven-straight games. In addition, Liberty has won 12 consecutive Big South contests, a program record. Longwood drops to 4-11 in conference and 14-23 overall.
After the five innings went scoreless, Liberty sent 10 men to the plate and struck for five runs in the sixth. Seiz beat out an infield single and advanced to second on an errant throw by Lancers pitcher Aaron Myers to lead off the inning. Seiz then moved to third, as designated hitter Becker Sankey reached on a field error by Longwood third baseman Alex Owens. Shortstop Dalton Britt followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to plate the game's first run.
After first baseman Alex Close walked, Grauer belted the first pitch he saw from Myers out over the left field fence to give Liberty a 4-0 advantage. Third baseman Dylan Allen then walked and moved to second two batters later, when left fielder Nick Lacik was hit by a pitch. Right fielder Will Shepherd followed with a two-out single to score Allen for a 5-0 lead.
In the seventh, Longwood broke through against Bean for its only run of the game. Right fielder Brandon Delk led off the inning with his seventh home run of the year to make it, 5-1 Flames. The home run was the first run allowed by Bean during a span of 20 1/3 innings.
Liberty added an insurance run in the ninth. With one out, Seiz walked and moved to second on a single by Andrew Yacyk, who entered the game in the seventh inning as the Flames' designated hitter. Two batters later, Close dropped a run-scoring single into center field for what proved to be the final score of 6-1.
Longwood Myers drops to 4-3 on the season. The right-hander gave up four runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. One of three Lancers to pitch in the contest, he struck out five and walked four batters.
Liberty returns home to host the Virginia Tech Hokies, tomorrow night at Liberty Baseball Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.