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Liberty Rally Comes Up Short, as No. 30 Campbell Takes 4-2 Win
A Liberty ninth-inning rally came up short, as the No. 30 Campbell Fighting Camels used a four-run third to defeat the Flames, 4-2, Saturday evening in a Big South Conference contest at Jim Perry Stadium.
Liberty falls to 11-9 in conference play and 27-23 overall. Campbell moves its ledger to 18-5 in the Big South and 42-9.
After both teams left a runner at third base in the game's opening inning, Liberty staked itself to an early lead with two runs in the top of the second. With one out, first baseman Justin Sizemore singled and advanced to third on a double into the right-center field gap by right fielder Nick Paxton. The next batter, shortstop Dalton Britt, then lifted a sacrifice fly to give the Flames a 1-0 edge. Third baseman Jake Kimble followed with an opposite-field single to right, plating Paxton for a 2-0 advantage.
Campbell batted around in the bottom of the third, plating four, two-out runs. With one out, right fielder Will Albertson and second baseman Michael Felton both singled. After both runners moved into scoring position on a grounder to the shortstop by first baseman David Olson, third baseman Elijah Trail walked to load the bases. Catcher Michael Delucia plated the first two runs of the inning with a single to left, tying the game at 2-2.
Designated hitter Blake Boyce then beat out an infield single to score Trail for a 3-2 advantage. Left fielder Nick Ray followed with a run-scoring single for a 4-2 advantage.
After Camels starting pitcher Heath Bowers retired 14 straight batters, Sizemore lined a t double down the left field line with one out in the seventh and moved to third on a ground out by Paxton. But, Bowers was able to get Britt to ground out sharply to first base to strand the runner.
In the eighth, Liberty moved a runner to third with no one out, only to have him thrown out trying to score. Kimble reached on a fielding error by Campbell shortstop John Reilly, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a throwing error by the Camels' Delucia. Two batters later, Kimble was out at the plate attempting to score on a grounder chopped to third base by second baseman Bryan Aanderud.
The Flames tried to rally in the ninth, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth. Center fielder Ryan Cordell singled with one out and stole second. Two batters later, Paxton was hit by a pitch with two outs. Britt then reached on a fielding error by Campbell shortstop Reilly to load the bases. However, Camels' reliever Olson retired Kimble to seal the 4-2 win by the host team.
Liberty starter Brooks Roy drops to 6-5 on the year. He allowed four runs on six hits over 2 2/3 innings. He struck out two and walked one batter.
Danny Grauer relieved Roy and pitched the rest of the way. He pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out two batters and walking one.
Bowers moves to 8-0 on the season. The Campbell right-hander gave up two runs on six hits over 8 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
Olson recorded the final two outs of the contest to record his third save of the year.
Campbell outhit Liberty, 11-6. Sizemore had two hits for the Flames. Felton and Delucia each collected two hits for the Camels.
Liberty made five errors in the contest, while Campbell made four.
Liberty and Campbell will meet tomorrow in the final contest of their three-game series. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.