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Liberty Completes Sweep of PC with 5-2 Game Two Win
The Liberty Flames jumped out to a 5-1 lead through the first three innings of game two and never looked back, defeating the Presbyterian College Blue Hose, 5-2, to complete a sweep of both Sunday afternoon's doubleheader at Worthington Stadium and the three-game Big South series.
Liberty moves to 10-5 in the Big South and 20-16 overall with the win. The Flames have won a season-high five straight games and have not lost to Presbyterian College in the nine meetings between the two teams, since the Blue Hose began Big South play in 2009. PC falls to 4-11 in conference play and 18-19 overall. The Blue Hose have lost eight consecutive contests.
After taking the first game, 7-1, Liberty got to work early in the second game. The Flames took advantage of a PC mistake to plate a run for a 1-0 lead in the contest's opening inning. With one out, right fielder Michael Robertson reached on a throwing error by Blue Hose third baseman Tyler Hill. With the Flames' right fielder on second base, left fielder Doug Bream singled to drive in Robertson with the first run of the game.
Presbyterian College countered with an unearned run in the top of the second frame. With catcher Nate Horton on second base after opening the inning with a single and second baseman John Wagner on first, shortstop Andrew Williams loaded the bases by reaching on an error by Flames first baseman Austin Taylor. Two batters later, designated hitter Brad Zebedis walked, forcing in a run and tying the game at 1-1.
Liberty answered in the bottom of the second with three runs. With one out, designated hitter Justin Richardson lined an opposite field single into left and advanced to second base on a single by catcher Jeff Jefferson. Two batters later, center fielder Ian Parmley lined a double inside the left field line, plating Richardson to make it, 2-1 Flames. Robertson followed with a hard hit grounder to second base, which got through Wagner and into center field, allowing both runners to score for a 4-1 edge.
In the third inning, the Flames upped their advantage. Bream singled through the left side of the infield to lead off the frame. Two batters later, the Liberty outfielder moved to second base on a single by Richardson and later scored on a double by Jefferson to put Liberty in front, 5-1.
Presbyterian College used an unearned run in the fifth inning to inch closer at 5-2. The Blue Hose loaded the bases with no one out. However, Liberty starter Keegan Linza allowed only one run to come of the threat by inducing a double play ground ball and a ground out to get out of the inning with minimal damage.
The Blue Hose again mounted a scoring threat in the sixth inning. With one away, Wagner doubled and Williams singled to put runners on the corners. Reliever Garrett Baker was summoned from the Liberty bullpen and promptly retired the next two hitters to keep the lead at 5-2 for the Flames. The left-hander went on the hold the Blue Hose in check the rest of the way to close out the victory.
Linza runs his record to 6-2 on the year, yielding two runs, both unearned, on seven hits over the first 5 1/3 innings. Baker, who recorded his first save of the year Friday night in Liberty's 6-5 win over PC, earns his second save of the season. The junior threw 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, giving up three hits and striking out two batters.
Blue Hose starter Jordan Pace falls to 2-5 on the season. The left-hander allowed five runs, two earned, on 11 hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out two and did not walk a batter. Chandler Knox pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, giving up two hits.
Liberty totaled 13 hits in the game. Matt Williams, Bream, Taylor, Richardson and Jefferson had two hits apiece for the Flames. PC had 10 hits in the contest. Right fielder Tony Micklon and first baseman Kenny Bryant each had two hits for the Blue Hose.
Liberty travels to Williamsburg, Va., for a non-conference game against the Tribe of William and Mary, Tuesday. First pitch at Plumeri Park is scheduled for 7 p.m.