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Liberty Downs Penn State, 12-3, in Game One
The Liberty Flames jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings and never looked back, cruising to a 12-3 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions in game one of a doubleheader at Liberty Baseball Stadium, Sunday.
Flames catcher Trey Wimmer had three hits, driving in three runs and scoring three runs in the contest. In addition, Liberty designated hitter Danny Grauer added a two-run double and outfielder Nick Lacik drove in two runs.
Liberty moves to 3-2 on the season, while Penn State drops to 1-4.
The Flames scored the game's first run in the bottom of the first inning. Right fielder Nick Paxton drew a leadoff walk to open the frame and immediately stole second. After advancing to third on a groundout by center fielder Ryan Cordell, Paxton scored on a single by second baseman Bryan Aanderud for a 1-0 advantage.
Liberty added a run in the second inning. Wimmer doubled to open the frame and moved to third on a passed ball. The next batter, left fielder Nick Lacik, then brought home the catcher with a groundout to push the Flames' edge to 2-0.
For the third consecutive frame, head coach Jim Toman's squad put runs on the scoreboard, plating three with two outs in the inning. Grauer walked to start the two-out burst and moved to second on a single by third baseman Sammy Taormina. Wimmer followed with a triple off the right-center field wall, cashing in both runners for a 4-0 Liberty lead. Lacik made it three straight hits for the Flames, singling to bring home Wimmer, upping the Flames' edge to 5-0.
Penn State cut into the Liberty advantage with two runs in the top of the fourth. Catcher J. C. Coban singled and designated hitter Matt Paradise walked to open the frame. Third baseman Ryky Smith followed with a run-scoring single. A batter later, left fielder James Coates grounded into a fielder's choice to bring in another Nittany Lion run, trimming the host Flames' lead to 5-2.
In the sixth, Penn State inched closer, benefitting from a Liberty error. Coban reached on throwing error by Flames shortstop Dalton Britt and scored on a single by first baseman J.J. White, whittling the home team's lead to two runs at 5-3.
Liberty broke open the game with seven runs in the seventh. With one out, the Flames loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batsman. Grauer followed by ripping a double over the head of the center fielder, scoring two runs and giving Liberty a 7-3 advantage. Taormina then singled to plate the third run of the frame. Wimmer and left fielder Justin Sizemore both each lifted RBI sacrifice flies to push the lead to 10-3. A run-scoring double by Paxton and a RBI single by Cordell capped the scoring in the inning to stretch the Liberty advantage to what proved to be the final score of 12-3.
Flames right-hander Adam Parks picked up the win in his first collegiate appearance to move to 1-0. Parks pitched three scoreless innings of relief, yielding one hit. He struck out two and walked one batter.
Nittany Lion starter Steven Hill took the loss, falling to 0-2. Hill gave up five runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked four batters.
Liberty outhit Penn State, 13-6. It is the first time this season, the Flames have recorded 10 or more hits in a contest. Besides Wimmer, Aanderud, Cordell, Grauer and Taormina each had two hits apiece for the Flames.