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Winning Streak Halted as Flames Fall to Colonials in Extra Innings, 6-5
With the setback, Liberty drops to 12-5 on the season, while George Washington improves to 2-11. It was the first loss in five games for the Flames, who have won 11 of 13 contests since beginning the season 1-3.
The Colonials took their first lead of the game in the top of the second inning. Chris Marsicano singled with two outs to keep the frame alive for George Washington. Right fielder Gavin Swanson followed with a home run to right to put the Colonials up, 2-0. The round tripper was Swanson's first of the year.
Liberty came back in the home half of the inning to make it, 2-1. First baseman Aaron Grijalva (R-Jr., Redlands, Calif.) walked with one out and after a fly out, stole second. David Giammaresi (R-Jr., 3B, Coral Springs, Fla.) then singled to center to score Grijalva with the Flames' first run of the contest.
In the fourth inning, Liberty knotted the game at 2-2. Designated hitter Tim Nanry (Sr., Rochester, N.Y.) doubled into the right field gap to open the fourth and advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Grijalva followed with a sharply hit single to center which brought home the designated hitter with the tying run.
The Flames took a 5-2 edge in the next inning. Errol Hollinger (So., C, Upland, Calif.) walked and Kenneth Negron (So., LF, Kingwood, Texas) singled to left to lead off the fifth. Both runners moved to second and third on a balk. After a blooper by Phil John (Sr., RF, Linwood, N.J.) fell in behind third base to load the bases, Garrett Young (Jr., CF, Fountain Valley, Calif.) singled to score Hollinger and Negron. Liberty later added a run on double play.
Meanwhile, Flames' starter Tyler Light (So., RHP, San Bernardino, Calif.) settled into a groove after giving up two runs in the second. After walking a batter with two outs in the third inning, the right-hander retired nine straight hitters, before yielding a hit in the sixth.
In the eighth, George Washington rallied to tie the contest. Pinch hitter Doug Eizen singled to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a grounder to third. The next batter, second baseman Tom Zebroski, followed with a single to put runners on the corners with one out. Liberty relief pitcher Tim John (Sr., RHP, Linwood, N.J.) entered for Light and his pitch was lined by shortstop Michael Parker over the left field fence for a three-run home run, tying the game at apiece.
The contest went to extra innings as neither team could break the deadlock in the ninth. Parker gave the Colonials a 6-5 advantage in 10th inning with his second home run of the contest, a solo home run to lead off the extra frame. Nanry reached an error to lead off the Liberty half of the stanza, but George Washington reliever Derek Haese erased the runner by inducing a double play, effectively killing the Liberty rally.
Light allowed four runs on six hits, while striking out six and walking one in 7 1/3 innings, before giving way to Tim John. John gave up two runs on six hits over 2 2/3 innings and falls to 0-1 on the season. Haese, the third Colonial pitcher on the afternoon, improves to 1-3 on the year as he pitched four innings of shutout relief.
Young, Nanry and Phil John had two hits apiece for Liberty. Charlie Kruer had three hits on the day to pace George Washington.
The Flames host Virginia Tech at Worthington Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m.