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Liberty Drops Contest at James Madison
The James Madison Dukes staked themselves to a first-inning advantage and never looked back, en route to a 21-4 win over the Liberty Flames, Wednesday afternoon in a non-conference game at Veterans Memorial Park.
Liberty drops to 15-10 on the year. The Flames have lost three straight contests. James Madison moves to 14-9. The Dukes have won three in a row.
James Madison jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the home half of the first inning. Center fielder Johnny Bladel opened the inning with a single and stole second base. After a wild pitch, a ground out by first baseman Matt Tenaglia to second base scored Bladel with the first run of the contest. Left fielder Chad Carroll followed with his second home run of the year to right-center field to give the Dukes an early two-run edge.
In the third inning, James Madison extended their advantage with three more runs. Second baseman Casey Goss and Tenaglia walked to begin the frame. Carroll followed with a triple down the left field line, plating both runners for a 4-0 lead. The next batter, third baseman Ty McFarland lifted a sacrifice fly to bring home Carroll to make it, 5-0.
The Dukes added three runs to their lead in the fourth. After a Liberty error prolonged the inning, Cole McInturff and shortstop Tyler Duke each drew bases loaded walks to push across the first two runs of the inning. A third run came home on a wild pitch for an 8-0 James Madison advantage.
The Dukes plated four more runs in the fifth. A RBI double by Teanaglia and single by Carroll pushed the Dukes lead to 10-0. McFarland followed with a RBI single and a wild pitch upped the James Madison advantage to 12-0.
Liberty broke through for three runs in the top of the sixth. With one out, pinch hitter Justin Sizemore lined a double into the left field corner and second baseman Bryan Aanderud was hit by a pitch. Two batters later, catcher Trey Wimmer tripled off the right-center field wall for the first two runs of the inning. Right fielder Nick Paxton followed with a RBI single to cut James Madison's lead to 12-3.
In the bottom of the inning, the Dukes scored six runs on five hits to up their advantage.
The Dukes added three runs in the bottom of the inning for a 21-4 ledger.
Liberty used 11 pitchers in the game. They combined to strike out six batters and walked 13. Flames starter Adam Parks falls to 1-2 on the year. He pitched the first inning, allowing two runs on two hits.
James Madison starter Michael Church moves to 3-1 on the season. The right-hander did not allow a run over 3 2/3 innings. He struck out two batters and did not walk a batter.
Liberty had 10 hits in the contest. Paxton, Sizemore and Wimmer each had two hits for the Flames. James Madison collected 19 hits.
Liberty returns home for a Big South Conference series with the Longwood Lancers this weekend. The series opens Friday with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.