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Close, Cordell Home Runs Highlight Liberty Victory
Close drove in four runs with the first two home runs of his collegiate career, connecting for round trippers in his first two at bats of the contest. The freshman designated hitter connected for a three-run home run in the first inning and a solo blast in the third inning. He added a single in the ninth for the first three-hit game of his career.
Cordell drove his first home run of the year off the Old Dominion Athletic Administration building behind the left field wall in the third inning with a runner aboard. Close followed by lining his second round tripper of the game, giving the Flames back-to-back home runs for the first time since an 8-6 win at VMI on April 23, 2011.
With the victory, Liberty has won six straight games and moves to 13-1 on the year. Old Dominion falls to 3-8.
Liberty jumped on the scoreboard in its first at bat. Left fielder Ian Parmley led off the game by splitting the left center field gap with a liner for a double and scored on a single by the next hitter, Andy Smith. Later in the opening frame, Close ripped his first home run of game over the left field wall with two outs and two men aboard for a 4-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the first inning, host Old Dominion countered with two runs. With one out, center fielder Josh Eldridge reached on an error and shortstop Josh Wright walked. The next batter, right fielder Chris Baker, brought home both runners with a double, slicing the Liberty edge to 4-2 after one inning.
The Flames extended their advantage in the third inning powered by the back-to-back home runs. After Cordell and Close drove in three runs in the stanza with their one-out blasts, Liberty upped its advantage to 8-2, later in the inning. Third baseman Dalton Sype reached on a two-out single and scored on a double by shortstop Zack Haley.
Old Dominion's first three batters reached to open the home half of the fourth inning to plate a run. Third baseman Brent Frazier walked to begin the frame and moved to third base on a single by second baseman Brandon Shelton. Left fielder Shawn Sizemore then singled to bring home Frazier, trimming the Flames' edge to 8-3.
The Monarchs continued to chip away at the Liberty advantage in the fifth. Catcher Josh Tutwiler hit his first home run of the year, a solo shot to begin the inning, making it, 8-4, Liberty.
The Flames benefited from a Monarch error in the sixth. After Old Dominion left fielder Sizemore dropped a towering fly ball by Haley to lead off the inning, Parmley followed with an infield single to score the Liberty shortstop from third base for a 9-4 lead.
Old Dominion put single runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings. Sizemore plated the Monarch run with a single in the seventh, while the host team scored a run on a double play ground ball in the eighth.
Liberty pushed a run across in the eighth inning for what prove to be the final score of 10-6. Smith led off the inning with a triple and came home on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Bryan Aanderud.
Five Liberty pitchers made an appearance during the contest, with starter Jacob Kemmerer moving to 2-0 on the year. The senior gave up two runs on six hits during the first three innings on a staff day for the Flames. He walked two batters.
Old Dominion starter Phil McCarty falls to 0-1 on the year. The right-hander was roughed up for eight runs on seven hits over three innings. He walked two batters.
Liberty collected 14 hits in the contest, with Smith and catcher Trey Wimmer joining Close with three hits apiece. Old Dominion also recorded a double-digit hit total with 18. Sizemore and Shelton each had three hits each for the Monarchs.
Old Dominion left 15 men on base on the afternoon, while Liberty left nine men on base.
Liberty returns home on Friday to open a four-game series with the St. John's Red Storm. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.