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Liberty Edged by USF, 2-1
The Liberty Flames moved the tying run into scoring position in the seventh and eighth innings, but came up short. The South Florida Bulls used two runs in the fifth to edge Liberty, 2-1, Saturday afternoon at Harmon Stadium in the second game of the UNF Best Bet Tournament.
In the seventh and the eighth innings, the Flames stranded the tying run in scoring position. Liberty stranded a runner at second base in the seventh and left the bases full in the eighth.
On the opening weekend of the 2014 season, Liberty falls to 0-2 on the year. USF moves to 1-0.
Scoreless through the first four innings, USF plated the game's first runs in the top of the fifth. Center fielder Michael Arencibia led off the inning with a double and moved to third on an infield single by shortstop Kyle Teaf. Second baseman Nik Alfonso followed with a sacrifice fly for the first run of the frame.
Teaf then stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. The next batter, left fielder Luke Maglich, singled to score Teaf for a 2-0 advantage.
Liberty countered in the bottom of the inning with a run of its own. Britt singled and moved all the way to third base, as the ball got by Bulls right fielder Austin Lueck. Britt scored on a grounder to shortstop by second baseman Nick Salisbury, trimming the Bulls' advantage to 2-1.
In the top of the seventh, USF loaded the bases with one out, but came away empty. Liberty reliever Blake Fulghum got the next two Bulls to pop out to end the threat.
Liberty had a runner thrown out at the plate in an attempt to tie the game in the bottom of the inning. First baseman Alex Close reached on a dropped fly ball by the USF's Arencibia with one out and moved into scoring position at second base on a single by Britt.
After the Bulls recorded the second out of the inning, Salisbury dropped a single into left field. Close tried to score on the hit, but was thrown out by USF left fielder Maglich, holding the Bulls' one-run edge.
During the eighth, Liberty again moved the tying runner into scoring position, only to be turned away by the USF bullpen. With one out, center fielder Ashton Perritt singled and moved to second on a walk to left fielder Nick Lacik. After Perritt was picked off at second base by Bulls reliever Lawrence Prado, catcher Danny Grauer walked and designated hitter Ryan Seiz beat out an infield to load the base with two outs. But, left-hander Janick Serrallonga was able to strike out the next Flame to end the threat.
Liberty starter Parker Bean falls to 0-1. In his first collegiate start, the freshman allowed two runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out three batters and walked one.
Fulghum followed for the Flames and did not give up a run over 4 2/3 innings of relief. The left-hander yielded three hits. He struck out three batters and walked one.
USF starter Jimmy Herget moves to 1-0. He gave up one run on five hits during the first seven innings. He struck out one batter and did not walk a batter.
Serrallonga records his first save of the season. He worked the final 1 1/3 innings, striking out one.
The Flames collected eight hits on the afternoon. The Bulls had 10 hits, including three by Maglich.
Liberty will face Richmond in its final game at the UNF Best Bet Tournament, tomorrow. First pitch at Harmon Stadium is scheduled for noon.