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Liberty Blanked by West Virginia in Series Opener
Mountaineers left-hander Harrison Musgrave kept the Flames in check, pitching out of two bases loaded jams, as West Virginia shut out Liberty, 8-0, at the Liberty Baseball Stadium, Friday night.
Liberty falls 18-17 on the season. West Virginia moves to 19-16. The contest was the first meeting between the two schools on the baseball diamond since 1978.
The Mountaineers quick jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With two men on and two out, first baseman Ryan McBroom drove his eight home run of the season over the left field wall to give the visitors a quick three-run lead.
In the bottom of the inning, the Flames loaded the bases, but came away empty. Left fielder Ashton Perritt singled, right fielder Nick Paxton walked and catcher Trey Wimmer was hit by a pitch to load the bases. But Musgrave settled in and he retired the next three batters to prevent Liberty from scoring.
West Virginia plated a run in the third inning. A two-out RBI single by left fielder Jacob Rice upped the Mountaineers edge to 4-0.
Liberty loaded the bases in the sixth, this time with two outs, but was turned away once again. Designated hitter Danny Grauer reached on an error by McBroom and second baseman Bryan Aanderud reached on a catcher's interference to open the inning. After the first two outs of the inning were recorded, shortstop Dalton Britt walked to fill the bases with Flames. However, Musgrave retired the next Flames batter to end the threat.
The Mountaineers added four more insurance runs in the eighth. A bases loaded walk, a RBI single and a two-run single gave West Virginia what proved to be the final score of 8-0.
Liberty starter Carson Herndon falls to 3-4 on the season. The right-hander allowed four runs on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out two batters and walked one.
Musgrave moves to 5-1 on the year. The left-hander gave up three hits over seven scoreless innings. He struck out two and walked two batters. He combined with Ryan Hostrander, who pitched the final two innings, for the shut out.
Liberty managed four hits in the contest. West Virginia collected 11 hits. Right fielder Brady Wilson had three hits for the Mountaineers.
Liberty and West Virginia will meet again at Liberty Baseball Stadium, tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.