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Liberty Falls to Virginia Tech, 8-2
The Virginia Tech Hokies took the lead early and never looked back in downing the Liberty Flames, 8-2, Tuesday afternoon in a non-conference baseball game at Worthington Stadium.
With their first back-to-back losses since dropping three-straight from Feb. 10-16, the Flames fall to 12-6 on the season, while Virginia Tech moves to 11-6.
The two teams traded runs to open the contest. Hokie Nate Parks doubled to lead off the game and advanced to third as the ball hopped away from the left fielder. Adam Redd followed with an infield single to plate Parks with the first run of the afternoon. Liberty came back with a run of its own in the home half of the first as Garrett Young (Jr., CF, Fountain Valley, Calif.) connected for a solo home run, his fourth of the season, to make it, 1-1.
After a scoreless second, Virginia Tech took a 2-1 edge in the third inning. A ground ball to first base by Matt Sosnoskie was misplayed by the Flames first baseman for an error to begin the inning. The runner moved to second base on a single and to third on a sacrifice bunt, before scoring on a Redd's sacrifice fly.
In the fourth inning, the Hokies extended their lead to 4-1. Warren Schaeffer singled with one out. The next batter, Matt Hacker, then hit a grounder to third which was played into a double play. However, a balk had been called before the pitch was delivered, sending the runner back to first and Hacker back to the plate. He promptly lined a triple into the right field corner to chase home Schaeffer. Sosnoskie then delivered the shortstop with a RBI single.
In the bottom of the inning, the Flames cut into the Virginia Tech edge on a solo home run by Cody Brown (R-So., 1B, Boca Raton, Fla.). Brown led off the Liberty half of the fourth with a towering home run over the scoreboard in left-center field. His first home run of the year narrowed the gap to 4-2.
Single runs in the fifth and sixth frames bumped the Hokie advantage to 6-2. In the fifth, Redd, who was 4-for-4 in the game, tripled and scored on a ground out. In the sixth, Steve Bumbry hit a solo round tripper, his second of the season.
Virginia Tech closed out the scoring with single insurance runs in the eight and ninth for the final of 8-2.
Flames' starter David Stokes (Jr., RHP, Locust Grove, Okla.), who had won three-straight decisions coming into the afternoon, falls to 3-2 on the season. The right-hander gave up six runs on 10 hits, while striking out six and walking one over seven innings. Grady Ihnat pitched the final two innings of the contest, allowing two runs on three hits.
Sophomore hurler Evan Frederickson moves to 1-0 for the Hokies, picking up his first collegiate victory. The left-hander allowed two runs on three hits, while striking out five and walking five in 5 1/3 innings. He would be followed by three other pitchers for Virginia Tech.
Of the four Liberty hits on the afternoon, Brown had two on his home run in the fifth and a single in the sixth. Hacker and Bumbry had two hits each to go along with Redd's 4-for-4 day.
The Flames travel to Harrisonburg, Va,. for another midweek contest tomorrow as Liberty squares off with the James Madison Dukes. Game time is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.