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Eight Strong Innings by Stokes Lead Flames Past Monarchs, 8-2
With a victory in the midweek contest, Liberty snaps the Monarchs' six-game win streak and moves to 10-4 on the year. Old Dominion falls to 11-7. The Flames have won nine out of their last 10 games.
Stokes (Jr., RHP,Locust Grove, Okla.) had his best start of the year in running his mark to 3-1. The right-hander scattered four hits and allowed one run over eight innings in the longest of his four starts on the season. He struck out five and did not yield a walk on the afternoon. Dexter Carter took the loss for the Monarchs to drop to 0-1.
After Stokes retired the first 10 batters he faced, Old Dominion used its first two hits of the contest to take a 1-0 lead in the home half of the fourth inning. With one out, center fielder Mike Zaum singled and moved to second on a balk. Third baseman Jake McAloose then bunted the Monarch center fielder to third and Zaum came home with the game's first run on a two-out single to left by catcher David Burns.
Liberty came right back in the top of the fifth frame to take a 5-1 advantage, a lead the Flames never relinquished. Nate Thompson (R-Fr., C, Stoneville, N.C.) opened the inning with a double to the warning track in center field. After advancing on a ground out by Kenneth Negron (So., LF, Kingwood, Texas), Thompson tied the contest at 1-1 on a RBI single by Garrett Young (Jr., CF, Fountain Valley, Calif.). An out later, both runners, Phil John (Sr., RF, Linwood, N.J.), who was hit by a pitch, and Young executed a double steal, putting Flames at second and third. Aaron Grijalva (R-Jr., 1B, Redlands, Calif.) followed with a single to right field to plate both runners for a 3-1 edge. With two outs, Patrick Gaillard (Sr., SS, Taylors, S.C.) kept the inning alive with a single. Both runners then scored on a double down the left field line by David Giammaresi (R-Jr., 3B, Coral Springs, Fla.).
The Flames added to their lead with three runs in the eighth. Thompson once again led off a scoring inning for Liberty by walking and the next batter Negron reached by being hit by a pitch. After an out, Young singled to center, scoring the catcher. After another double steal, Negron came home on a passed ball. Young plated the inning's third run on a fielder's choice by Cody Brown (R-So., DH, Boca Raton, Fla.) to make it 8-1, Flames.
Old Dominion scored a run in the ninth on a back-to-back singles off reliever Doug Wallace (r-So., LHP, Hurricane, W.Va.) for the final score of 8-2.
Grijalva and Young both were 3-for-4 with two RBI to pace the Liberty attack. John also had two hits for the Flames. Burns and Andrew Shaler had two hits apiece for the Monarchs.
Liberty returns to Lynchburg on Friday to begin a three-game weekend series with George Washington. The first pitch in Friday's series opener at Worthington Stadium is set for 2:30 p.m.