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Despite Three-Hit Games for Cordell and Wimmer, Liberty Falls to Radford, 6-3
Liberty outfielder Ryan Cordell and catcher Trey Wimmer collected three hits apiece, but the Radford Highlanders used a six-run second inning to defeat the Flames, 6-3, in a Big South contest, Thursday evening at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Cordell had three hits, including a double, a RBI and two stolen bases in the game, recording his team-leading 22nd multi-hit game. The Liberty center fielder posted his third straight multiple-hit contest.
Wimmer also had three hits in the contest. It was the catcher's 18th game with multiple hits.
Liberty falls to 11-11 in Big South play and 27-26 overall. The Flames have dropped five straight contests. Radford moves to 14-8 in conference action and 29-22 overall.
The visiting Highlanders tallied all their runs on the evening in the second. First baseman Alexander Lee led off the inning with a walk and two batters later, moved to third base on a single by center fielder Blake Sipe. With runners on the corners, third baseman Chris Coia grounded into a fielder's choice, scoring Lee with the first run of the contest. Second baseman Josh Gardiner then singled to produce a run for a 2-0 advantage.
After catcher Josh Revis singled to load the bases, right fielder Patrick Marshall was hit by a pitch to force in run and left fielder Zach Woolcock followed with a two-run single to extend the visitors' advantage to 5-0. Marshall then plated the final run of the inning, scoring when shortstop Matt Kemp was caught in a rundown between first and second, trying to a steal base.
Liberty pushed across a run in the third. Shortstop Dalton Britt opened the home half of the inning with a single and moved to second when left fielder Ashton Perritt was hit by a pitch. Britt then advanced to third on a fielder's choice grounder by Cordell and scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-1 Radford.
Liberty reliever Blake Fulghum and Radford reliever Dylan Nelson held their respective opponents scoreless until the ninth.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Flames benefitted from two Highlanders' errors to plate two runs and bring the tying run to the plate. First baseman Alex Close reached on a throwing error by Kemp and advanced to third when Woolcock dropped a fly ball to left field by third baseman Sammy Taormina. Britt tallied the first Liberty run of the frame with a sacrifice fly. Two batters later, Cordell singled to left to bring home Tarormina to cut the Radford advantage to 6-3. Wimmer followed with an infield single to bring the tying run to the plate. However, Highlander reliever Daniel Bridgeman retired the next Flame on strikes for a 6-3 win.
Liberty starter Josh Richardson falls to 2-3 on the season. The right-hander gave up six runs, four earned, on five hits over two innings. Fulghum came on in the third and pitched seven scoreless innings. He allowed four hits. The reliever struck out a career-high eight and did not walk a batter.
Radford starter Tyler Costello moves to 6-4 with three innings of work. He gave up one run on four hits, striking out three.
The Flames outhit the Highlanders, 11-9, in the contest. Besides Cordell and Wimmer, Brit collected two hits, driving in a run and scoring a run for Liberty. Radford had three players with two hits apiece in the game.
Liberty and Radford will meet again tomorrow at Liberty Baseball Stadium. Due to a forecast of rain for the Lynchburg area, first pitch is now scheduled for 3 p.m.