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Maryland Defeats Liberty, 4-2
The Maryland Terrapins overcame an early 2-0 Liberty Flames lead, scoring the final four runs of the contest, en route to a 4-2 win at Liberty Baseball Stadium, Wednesday afternoon.
Liberty falls to 26-21 on the year and sees it four-game winning streak come to an end. Maryland moves to 27-21, winning for the second time over the Flames in eight days.
Liberty jumped out to a 1-0 advantage in the home half of the first inning. Right fielder Ashton Perritt beat out a high chopper to third base for an infield single to open the frame and later, stole second base. Perritt then scored on a two-out infield single by designated hitter Danny Grauer, giving the Flames early edge.
Liberty extended its lead with a run in the third inning. With one out, Perritt reached on a fielding error by Maryland third baseman K.J. Hockaday and moved into scoring position by stealing second with two outs. Catcher Trey Wimmer followed with a RBI single to left field for a 2-0 advantage.
After being held scoreless through the first four innings by Flames pitchers, Carson Herndon and Jared Lyons, Maryland broke through with two runs in the fifth to tie game. With one out, second baseman Jose Cuas singled and advanced to third on a two-out double by right fielder Jordan Hagel. First baseman LaMonte Wade followed with a single to left field to score Cuas and Hagel to knot the game at 2-2.
The Terrapins took the lead with a run during their next at bat. Left fielder Anthony Papio walked to lead off the sixth inning and moved to second on a single by Hockaday. After both runners moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Amaro, Papio scored on a fielder's choice grounder by shortstop Blake Schmitt for a 3-2 edge.
In the bottom of the frame, Liberty threatened, but came away empty. Grauer opened the inning with a single. Center fielder Ryan Cordell followed with a double into the right-center field gap, putting two runners in scoring position with no outs. However, Maryland starter Jake Drossener induced the next three Flames to each ground out to third to end the threat and keep Maryland in front.
The Terrapins added an insurance run in the top of the ninth. With one out, Hagel was hit by a pitch and scored on a two-out double by catcher Kevin Matir for a 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Liberty tried to rally. With two outs, Perritt walked and second base Bryan Aanderud was hit by a pitch. However, Maryland reliever Kevin Mooney was able to retire the next batter to close out the win.
Grauer, the third of five Liberty pitchers in the contest, drops to 0-1 on the year. The right-hander gave up three runs on four hits over 2 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked three batters.
Drossner moves to 2-0 on the season. The left-hander allowed two runs on eight hits over six innings. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.
Mooney, the final of four Maryland pitchers in the game, records his eighth save of the year with a scoreless ninth.
Liberty collected eight hits on the afternoon. Grauer and shortstop Dalton Britt each had two hits for the Flames. Maryland recorded nine hits. Hagel, Hockaday and Matir had two hits apiece for the Terrapins.
Liberty will next host the Duke Blue Devils at Liberty Baseball Stadium on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.