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Herndon's Gem Helps Lead Liberty Past Longwood
Liberty right-hander Carson Herndon went the distance for the first time in his career, helping to lift the Flames past the Longwood Lancers, 8-1, Friday evening in a Big South Conference contest at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Herndon runs his mark to 3-2 on the year. The sophomore allowed one run on six hits over the full nine innings. He struck out a career-high nine batters and walked two.
Herndon pitches the second complete game by a Flames pitcher in 2013. Liberty right-hander Trey Lambert pitched a complete game in a 3-1 victory over Charleston Southern on March 17.
Liberty moves to 5-2 in Big South action and 16-10 overall. The win snaps a three-game losing skid for the Flames. Longwood drops to 3-4 in conference and 11-15 overall. It was the first time the two teams have met as Big South Conference opponents. The Lancers joined the conference this past fall.
Liberty staked itself to a lead in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, left fielder Nick Lacik singled and advanced to second on a balk by Lancer starter Kyler Morgan. After a ground out by second baseman Bryan Aanderud moved Lacik to third, center fielder Ryan Cordell ripped a RBI single through the left side of the infield for a 1-0 edge.
Longwood countered with its only run of the game in the top of the fourth. Catcher Scott Burkett dropped a one-out single into right field and moved to second on a ground out by Matt Dickason. Kyri Washington followed with a single to center field to score Burkett and tie the game at 1-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Liberty answered with a run of its own to go back in front for good in the contest. Right fielder Nick Paxton reached on an infield single and stole second base. The next batter, designated hitter Danny Grauer, singled to right-center field to plate Paxton for a 2-1 advantage.
The Flames stretched their lead with a run in the fifth. Third baseman Dalton Sype walked to open the frame and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lacik. Aanderud followed with an opposite-field single to score Sype for a 3-1 lead.
With Herndon handcuffing the Lancers, Liberty put the game out of reach in the seventh. Aanderud began the inning with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later, catcher Trey Wimmer singled to tally Aanderud with the first run of the frame. After a Longwood pitching change, walks to Paxton and first baseman Alex Close were sandwiched around the second out of the inning. Shortstop Dalton Britt followed with a fly ball which was lost in the lights by Longwood right fielder Brandon Delk for a bases-clearing double and a 7-1 Flames lead.
Liberty added a run in the eighth for the final score of 8-1. Aanderud walked and stole second. Two batters later, Paxton lined a triple off the right field wall, plating the final the Flames' final run of the evening.
Morgan falls to 2-3 for Longwood. The right-hander gave up five runs on 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out three batters and walked three.
Liberty collected 13 hits on the day. Paxton led the way with three hits for the Flames. Aanderud, Cordell and Britt added two hits apiece. Shortstop C.J. Roth had two hits for Longwood.
The Lancers and Flames will wrap up their three-game conference series tomorrow with a doubleheader. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 1 p.m.