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Liberty Pounds Out 16 Hits in 11-6 Win over Richmond
Seven Flames collected two hits apiece, as Liberty banged out 16 hits, en route to a 11-6 victory over the Richmond Spiders, Sunday afternoon at Harmon Stadium in game five of the UNF Best Bet Tournament.
First baseman Ryan Seiz hit a two-run home run, his first of the year, and scored three times, joining center fielder Ashton Perritt, left fielder Nick Lacik, third baseman Dalton Britt, right fielder Will Shepherd and shortstop Clay Keranen with two hits in the contest for the Flames.
Liberty moves to 1-2 on the year. Richmond drops to 0-3. The Flames and Spiders will meet again later this season on April 8 at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Liberty struck for the game's first run in the top of the second. Seiz walked and Britt singled through the left side of the infield to lead off the inning. Becker Sankey followed with a single to center field, plating Seiz for a 1-0 advantage.
The Flames added another run in the top of the third. Keranen opened the inning with a single and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Perritt. Keranen then scored on back-to-back wild pitches by Spider starting pitcher Ryan Cook to give Liberty a 2-0 edge.
In the bottom of the inning, Richmond tied the contest with two runs. Right fielder Nick Poulous drew a walk to open the inning and moved to second when second baseman Adam Forrer reached on catcher's interference. After a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, center fielder Tanner Stanley singled back through the middle of the diamond, bringing home both runners and knotting the score at 2-2.
Liberty answered with three runs in the top of the next inning. With one out, Sankey walked and Shepherd singled to open the fourth. Both runners moved into scoring position when Spider third baseman Tyler Beckwith overthrew first in an attempt to retire Shepherd.
Sankey scored the first run of the frame on a single by second baseman Jake Kimble to put the Flames back in front, 3-2. Keranen followed with a run-scoring double and Perritt made it, 5-2 Flames with a RBI single.
Richmond countered with three runs of its own in the bottom of the frame to tie the game again. The first three batters of the inning reached, as left fielder Jansen Fraser and shortstop Mike Small and catcher Mike Gadd walked. Two batters later, a balk with the bases brought home the first run of the frame. After a walk to Forrer once again loaded the bases, third baseman Tyler Beckwith dropped a two-run single into left field, tying the contest at 5-5.
Later in the inning, the Spiders attempted to take the lead with two out on a single to center field by first baseman Doug Kraeger. But, Forrer, who was trying to score from second base, was thrown out at the plate by Perritt to end the frame.
The Flames took control of the contest with four runs during the next two innings.
In the fifth, Liberty pushed across a run to break the tie. Seiz and Britt opened the inning with back-to-back singles and advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Sankey. Shepherd followed with a RBI grounder to give the Flames a 6-5 edge.
In the sixth, the Flames plated three runs for a four-run lead. With one out, Perritt doubled off the left-center field wall and scored on a single by Lacik. Two batters later, Seiz blasted his first home run of the season over the center field wall for a 9-5 advantage.
Richmond cut into the Liberty lead with a run in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, a base-loaded single by Gadd plated a run.
The Flames added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a wild pitch and a fielding error for the final score of 11-6.
Liberty reliever Jared Lyons moves to 1-0 on the year. The fourth of six pitchers to take the mound for the Flames, the left-hander gave up an unearned run on two hits over 3 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two batters.
Perritt earned his first save of the year. He did not allow a run over the final two innings.
Richmond's James Lively falls to 0-1. The second of five Spiders to pitch in the game, he gave up four runs on five hits over 2 2/3 innings. He struck out one.
Richmond collected seven hits. No Spider player had more than one hit.
Liberty next returns to Lynchburg for its home opener, Tuesday. The Flames will host the Old Dominion Monarchs at Liberty Baseball Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.