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Four-Run Fifth Lifts Flames Past Jaspers, 6-2

March 2, 2007
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Garrett Young scores on a wild pitch in Liberty's 6-2 win Friday.

Garrett Young scores on a wild pitch in Liberty's 6-2 win Friday.

Using another strong outing from pitcher Michael Solbach, the Liberty Flames broke a 1-1 tie with four runs in the fifth inning and defeated the Manhattan Jaspers, 6-2, Friday afternoon at Worthington Stadium.

Liberty's seventh-straight victory moves its record to 8-3 on the season. Manhattan drops to 0-4 in the first-ever meeting between the two schools on the baseball diamond.

The visiting Jaspers took a short-lived, 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. In the top of the frame, Jaspers' left-fielder Eric Nieto led off the stanza with a single to right and stole second base. After advancing to third on a ground out, the left-fielder plated the contest's first run when center fielder Mike Garcia's pop fly behind the infield was dropped by the Flames' second baseman.

In the bottom of the inning, Liberty knotted the game. After reaching on a fielder's choice with two out, Cody Brown (R-So., 1B, Boca Raton, Fla.) advanced to second when the next batter, Aaron Phillips, (Jr., 2B, Claremore, Okla.) was hit by a pitch. David Giammaresi then sharply singled past the bag at third to chase home Brown with the Flames' first run of the afternoon.

Liberty batted around during its four-run fifth inning. Patrick Gaillard (Sr., SS, Taylors, S.C.) doubled down the left field line to open the frame. Aaron Grijalva (R-Jr., DH, Redlands, Calif.) followed with single to score Grijalva for a 2-1 Flame advantage. Later in the inning, after loading the bases with two outs, Garrett Young (Jr., CF, Fountain Valley, Calif.) came home on a wild pitch for Liberty's second run of the frame. Giammaresi then walked to reload the bases for P.K. Keller (Jr., RF, Clearwater, Fla.), who singled up the middle to bring two more runners home for a 5-1 advantage.

Those runs were all Solbach (R-Jr., RHP, Woodbridge, Va.) needed on the afternoon in running his record to 2-1 on the season. The right-hander allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits over seven innings, striking out seven and walking two.

In the seventh inning, the Jaspers made it, 5-2. Garcia was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a walk to catcher Nick Debra and then to third on a wild pitch. Designated hitter Rubin Perez brought home Garcia with a one-out grounder to second base.
Liberty added a run in the eighth inning for the final score of 6-2. Errol Hollinger (So, C, Upland, Calif.) doubled to open the stanza. The runner then moved to third on a bunt single in front of third base by Gaillard and came home on a sacrifice fly by Grijalva.

Tim John (Sr., RHP, Linwood, N.J.) came on for Solbach in the eighth and pitched two innings of scoreless, no-hit relief in earning his first save of the year. Jasper starter Josh Santerre drops to 0-2 on the season, as the left-hander allowed five runs on six hits in
4 2/3 innings.

Gaillard led Liberty's 13-hit attack by going 3-for-5 in the game and scoring a run. In addition, Tim Nanry (Sr., LF, Rochester, N.Y.) and Hollinger had two hits apiece for the Flames. Nieto had two of the four Jasper hits.

Liberty and Manhattan meet again tomorrow afternoon at Worthington Stadium in the middle contest of the three-game series. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.