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Aanderud Drives in 6 Runs to Propel Liberty Past West Virginia
Flames second baseman Bryan Aanderud drove in a career-high six runs helping to lead Liberty to a 9-2 win over the West Virginia Mountaineers, Saturday at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Aanderud used three hits, one a bases-clearing double, to plate six of Liberty's runs in the contest. His RBI total eclipses his previous career-high of five in a 13-1 victory over Coppin State on March 4, 2012. With six RBIs, Aanderud, who led the Flames last season in RBIs, now leads Liberty with 29.
Left fielder Ashton Perritt also had three hits, including a triple, and scored four runs for the Flames. The Liberty leadoff hitter's four runs scored is also career-high. Additionally, he stole two bases during the contest.
Liberty moves to 19-17 on the season. West Virginia falls to 19-17. The Flames and Mountaineers have split the first two games of the first-ever three-game series on the diamond between the two programs.
Each team scored a run in the game's opening inning. West Virginia shortstop Taylor Munden led off the contest with a double. Two batters later, right fielder Brady Wilson lifted a sacrifice fly to plate Munden with the first run of the afternoon.
Liberty answered in the home half of the first with a run of its own. Perritt opened the frame by lining a triple off the right field wall. Aanderud followed with a run-producing ground ball to tie the game at 1-1.
In the third, the Flames went in front for good in the contest. Perritt began the inning with a single and immediately stole second base. After moving to third on a fly out to deep right field by Aanderud, Perritt scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher Trey Wimmer to give Liberty a 2-1 edge.
The Flames added a run in the fourth. With two outs, first baseman Alex Close lined a double into the left field corner. Shortstop Dalton Britt followed with a single to cash in Close for 3-1 advantage.
After being held scoreless by Liberty starter Brooks Roy for five innings, the Mountaineers broke through for a run. Designated hitter Matt Frazer walked with one out and two batters later, moved to second on a two-out single by second baseman Justin Fox. Munden followed with single, scoring Frazer to close to within one run on the scoreboard at 3-2.
However in the bottom of the inning, the Flames countered with two runs of their own. Britt began the frame with a single and advantaged to second on a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Jake Kimble. Britt then moved to third on a single by Perritt, his third hit of the game. Aanderud followed with a two-run single, upping the Liberty lead to 5-2.
In the eighth, the Flames put the game out of reach with four additional runs. The first three batters of the inning reached, loading the bases. Center fielder Ryan Cordell opened the frame with an infield single. Right fielder Nick Paxton was then hit by pitch and Close received an intentional walk to fill the bases with Flames. After the next two Flames were retired, Perrit was hit by a pitch to force in the first run of the inning. Aanderud followed sent a double to the warning track in center field, clearing the bases and extending the Liberty advantage to the final margin of 9-2.
Roy improves to 4-4 on the year. The right-hander gave up two runs on five hits during the first seven innings. He struck out five and walked four batters.
Reliever Josh Richardson pitched the final two innings for the Flames. He pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit.
West Virginia starter Corey Walter drops to 2-4 on the year. He gave up five runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked one batter.
Liberty collected 11 hits during the contest. Besides Aanderud and Perritt's three-hit games, Cordell and Britt each had two hits apiece. West Virginia had six hits. Munden recorded two hits for the Mountaineers.
West Virginia and Liberty will meet in the final game of their three-game series tomorrow at Liberty Baseball Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m.