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Bennion's 10th-Inning Double Lifts Flames to 7-6 Win Over Colonials
With the contest tied at 6-6, Phillips (Jr., 2B, Claremore, Okla.), who had entered the game in the ninth inning, led off the bottom of the 10th with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Errol Hollinger (So., C, Upland, Calif.). Two batters later, Bennion (Sr., RF, Snohomish, Wash.) lined a double into the left field corner to plate Phillips and give Liberty a 7-6 win.
With the victory, the Flames improve to 12-4 on the season. The Colonials fall to 1-11. Since opening the year at 1-3, Liberty has won 11 of its 12 contests.
George Washington got on the scoreboard first with two runs in the second inning. Center fielder Charlie Kruer opened the frame with a double and later scored the game's first run on a two-out RBI single by Chris Marsicano. Gavin Swanson followed with a run-scoring double for a 2-0 advantage.
The Colonials stretched their lead in the third. With a ground out, Kruer plated third baseman Mickey Shupin, who had reached on an infield single to begin the inning. Pat Lehman then pushed another run home with an infield single to up George Washington's lead to 4-0.
The Flames made it, 4-1, in the home half of the inning. With two outs, Bennion singled through the middle and moved to second on a passed ball. The outfielder then scored Liberty's first run of the contest on a single by Garrett Young (Jr., CF, Upland, Calif.).
In the top of the fifth, George Washington added two more runs to take a 6-1 edge. Shortstop Michael Parker singled with two outs. Kruer followed with a home run to right-center field, his third of the season.
Liberty closed the five-run margin to 6-5 in the bottom of the inning. Hollinger began the frame with a double and advanced to third on a single by Kenneth Negron (So., LF, Kingwood, Texas). Bennion then hit his first double, plating both runners. For the second time on the afternoon, Young brought Bennion home, this time with a double, cutting the Colonials advantage to 6-4. After moving on a ground on a ground out, the Flames' center fielder scored on a sacrifice fly by Aaron Grijalva (R-Jr., 1B, Redlands, Calif.) to make it, 6-5.
Liberty knotted the game at 6-6 in the eighth. Pinch hitter Cody Brown (R-So., INF, Boca Raton, Fla.) lined a double off the wall in center field with one out. After a fly out, Negron singled to center to plate Brown and tie the contest up.
In the ninth, both teams threatened in the ninth inning with neither being able to break the tie. Shupin singled to open George Washington half of the frame and stole second. Pinch hitter Doug Eizen sent a fielder's choice ground ball to second which was thrown away by the Flames' shortstop in an attempt to retire Shupin at third. After intentionally walking Parker to load the bases, Liberty reliever Ryan Page (Jr., LHP, Cranberry Twp., Pa.) induced Kruer to ground into a double play to end the threat.
In the bottom of the inning, the Flames loaded the bases with one out. Young singled and moved to third on a wild throw on a pick off attempt at first base. Grijalva and Patrick Gaillard (Sr., SS, Taylors, S.C.) then received intentional passes to load the bases. However, Young was thrown out at the plate on a fly ball to left by David Giammaresi (R-Jr. 3B, Coral Springs, Fla.) to keep the score at 6-6, and send the game to extra innings.
Liberty starter Dustin Umberger (So., RHP, Hummelstown, Pa.) gave up six runs on 10 hits, while striking out seven and walking one in 6 1/3 innings. Page came on in the seventh and ran his mark to 2-0 on the season with 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Reliever Pat Lehman took the loss to fall to 0-2. The Colonials' right-hander allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Bennion, who came on in the second inning to play right field after Phil John (Sr., RF, Linwood, N.J.) had to leave the game due to injury after diving for a liner, paced the Flames by going 3-for-5 with two doubles, three RBI and two runs scored. Negron and Young also went 3-for-5 on the afternoon for Liberty. Shupin and Kruer had three hits apiece for George Washington.
The Flames will host the Colonials in the final game of their three-game weekend series tomorrow afternoon at Worthington Stadium. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.