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Wimmer Homers, as Flames Down Buccaneers, 8-2
Catcher Trey Wimmer hit a home run and drove in three runs, helping to propel the Liberty Flames past the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, 8-2, in the Big South Conference opener for both teams at Liberty Baseball Stadium, Friday afternoon.
Wimmer posted his fifth consecutive game with two hits. The senior also has also collected a hit in each of his last six games. The Liberty catcher had a run-scoring single in the first inning and drove in two runs with his second home run of the year in the third inning.
Liberty opens Big South play with a 1-0 record and moves to 12-6 overall. Charleston Southern drops to 0-1 in the Big South and 8-11 overall.
The Flames never trailed in the contest, jumping out to a two-run advantage in the bottom of the first inning. Second baseman Bryan Aanderud singled with one out and moved to second and third on wild pitches by Charleston Southern starter Ryan Gunther. After center fielder Ryan Cordell walked, he and Aanderud pulled off a double steal to plate the first Liberty run of the contest. Wimmer followed with a RBI single to put the Flames in front, 2-0.
Liberty stretched its advantage with two more runs in the third inning. Cordell reached on a throwing error by Buccaneers shortstop Alex Tomasovich and stole second. Wimmer then belted home run off the Liberty Baseball Stadium scoreboard in left center field for a 4-0 edge.
Visiting Charleston Southern plated its first run of the game in the fourth. With one out, Tomasovich walked and stole second. Two batters later, first baseman Robbie Strett lined a two-out single through the left side of the Liberty infield to score Tomasovich, cutting the Flames' lead to 4-1.
In the seventh, Liberty pushed across a run to extend its lead. Third baseman Dalton Sype led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by left fielder Nick Lacik. Aanderud followed with a RBI single to give the Flames a 5-1 advantage.
The Buccaneers once again cut into the Liberty lead with a run in the top of the eighth. Left fielder John Faircloth led off the frame with a single and moved to second and third on back-to-back wild pitches by Flames reliever Jared Lyons. Tomasovich then lifted a sacrifice fly to score Faircloth to trim Liberty's advantage to 5-2.
However in the bottom of the inning, the Flames put the game out of reach, striking for three runs. Right fielder Nick Paxton got things started with a one-out infield single and stole second. Paxton was then allowed to score, when Charleston Southern reliever Joe Pistaccio overthrew third base on a steal attempt by the Flames right fielder for the first tally of the inning. Designated hitter Danny Grauer and shortstop Dalton Britt followed with back-to-back triples, upping the Liberty lead to 7-2. Sype then lifted a sacrifice fly to plate Britt for the final score of 8-2.
Flames starter Carson Herndon evens his record at 2-2 on the year. The right-hander allowed one run on five hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked three batters.
Buccaneer Gunther drops to 2-2 on the season. The right-hander gave up five runs on seven hits over seven innings of work. He struck out three and walked one batter.
Liberty banged out 10 hits in the contest. Besides Wimmer, Aanderud, Britt and Paxton each had two hits for the Flames.
Charleston Southern collected nine hits in the game. Streett and catcher Drew Woodall had two hits apiece for the Bucs.
Charleston Southern and Liberty will meet in the middle game of their three-game Big South series, tomorrow at Liberty Baseball Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.