Flames NewsFlames Home > News
Linza Pitches Complete Game in 5-2 Win
Flames right-hander Keegan Linza went the distance, pitching Liberty past the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 5-2, in the first game of the Keith LeClair Classic at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Liberty moves to 6-8 on the year. Rutgers falls to 5-6.
Linza runs his record to 3-0 on the year, allowing two runs on seven hits in throwing the first complete game of the year by a Liberty pitcher. The senior struck out five and did not walk a batter. He retired the first 10 Scarlet Knight batters to face him in the contest and did not allow a runner past second base until the seventh inning, when Rutgers scored its first run of the contest. It is the second time in his career Linza has gone the distance, as the right-hander recorded his first complete game in a 7-3 win over UNC Asheville.
Liberty jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the third. Second baseman Zack Haley lined a double down the left field line and advanced to third base on a bunt single by center fielder Ian Parmley. After Parmley stole second base, shortstop Matt Williams beat out a ground ball to the right side of the infield to score Haley with the first run of the contest. And when Rutgers second baseman Dan Perrine's throw sailed over the first baseman's head in an attempt to get Williams at first base, Parmley came home with the second run of the inning.
The Flames upped their lead with a two-out run in the fifth inning. Williams reached on an infield single to keep the frame alive. Third baseman Tyler Bream followed by ripping a liner into the left field corner for a double, allowing Williams to round the bases and give Liberty a 3-0 edge.
In their next at bat, the Flames extended their lead. With one out, designated hitter Justin Sizemore and first baseman Austin Taylor singled. Right-fielder Michael Robertson followed with a run-scoring single to make it, 4-0 Liberty. Two batters later, Parmley singled to cash in
Taylor for a 5-0 lead.
Rutgers broke through against Linza in the seventh inning. Left fielder Steve Zavala led off the frame with a single up the middle. After moving to second on a ground out, Zavala got the Knights on the scoreboard, scoring on a bloop single to right field by third baseman Russ Hopkins.
In the ninth, the Scarlet Knights pushed across a run and threatened for more by loading the bases with two outs. Right fielder Michael Lang doubled and Steve Zavala singled to put runners on the corners to open the inning. Lang then scored, as Haley mishandled a grounder by shortstop Steve Nyisztor for an error, cutting the Liberty lead to the final score of 5-2.
After the first two outs of the inning were recorded, pinch hitter Michael Zavala singled to right field to load the bases and putting the tying run at first base. However, Linza finished what he started by getting the next hitter to hit a routine grounder to Williams to seal the Liberty victory.
Rutgers starter Tyler Gebler took the loss to drop to 1-2 on the season. The first of three Scarlet Knight pitchers in the contest, the right-hander gave up five runs on nine hits over six innings. He struck out one and walked one.
Eight of the nine batters in the Liberty line-up had at least one hit in the contest. Parmley and Williams led the Flames with two hits apiece. The Flames had nine total in the contest. Steve Zavala had three hits for the Scarlet Knights, who had seven hits in the game.
Liberty will face the Monmouth Hawks tomorrow in the first game in the second day of action at the Keith LeClair Classic. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.