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Roy's Outing Pushes Liberty Past Charleston Southern
Liberty right-hander Brooks Roy held Charleston Southern in check for six-plus innings, helping to lead the Flames to an 8-4 victory over the Buccaneers, Saturday in a Big South Conference contest at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Roy moves to 3-1 on the season with another solid starting effort for Liberty. After allowing a single to open the top of the second, the senior retired 13 Buccaneer batters in a row. He ended up allowing two runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking one batter.
With back-to-back wins in the three-game series, Liberty improves to 2-0 in Big South play and 13-6 overall. Charleston Southern drops to 0-2 in conference action and 8-12 overall.
After three scoreless innings, Liberty staked itself to a 3-0 advantage in the fourth. With the base loaded and two outs, designated hitter Danny Grauer lined a single into the right-center field gap to clear the bases and give the Flames a lead they never relinquished.
In the fifth, Liberty extended its advantage. With one out, second baseman Bryan Aanderud ripped his first home run of the season over the left field wall to put the Flames in front, 4-0. The next batter, center fielder Ryan Cordell, then walked and stole second. Catcher Trey Wimmer followed with a run-scoring single through the left side of the infield for a 5-0 lead.
Charleston Southern cut into the Liberty advantage with two two-out runs in the top of the seventh. First baseman Harrison Wilkins singled to lead off the frame and moved to second, when left fielder John Faircloth reached on an infield single with two outs. Pinch hitter Ben Qualkinbush then walked to load the bases. Right fielder Brian Welch followed with a single to plate Wilkins with the first Buc run of the game. The next batter, pinch hitter Zack Hagman, walked to force in a run, cutting the Flames' lead to 5-2.
In the bottom of the inning, Liberty answered, providing itself with a six-run cushion. Left fielder Nick Lacik opened the frame with an infield hit and stole second. Aanderud followed with a single to put Flames at the corners. Two batters later, Wimmer doubled off the left field fence, plating Lacik for a 6-2 advantage. After the second batter of the inning was retired, an infield single by first baseman Alex Close brought home another tally for a 7-2 lead. Wimmer then scored on a wild pitch to make it, 8-2 Flames.
Charleston Southern sliced into the Liberty advantage with a run in the eighth. Center fielder Bobby Ison walked to open the inning and scored on a one-out double by shortstop Alex Tomasovich.
In the ninth, the Buccaneers mounted a rally by loading the bases with two outs. Patrick Bankemper was summoned from the Liberty bullpen and closed out the contest. After allowing a run to score by hitting a batter, the right-hander sealed the 8-4 Flames' victory by striking out Tomasovich.
Bankemper earned his first save of the season by collecting the final out for the Flames.
Charleston Southern starter Kevin Buran falls to 0-4 on the year. The right-hander gave up five runs on five hits over five innings of work. He struck out three batters and walked four.
Liberty collected 10 hits in the contest. Aanderud, Lacik and Wimmer had two hits apiece for the Flames. Wimmer has recorded two hits in each of his last six games.
Charleston Southern had six hits on the afternoon. No Buccaneer recorded more than one hit.
Charleston Southern and Liberty will meet in the final game of their Big South Conference series, tomorrow. First pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.