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Strong Pitching Performances Propel Liberty Past Rider, 3-1
A trio of Liberty pitchers combined to hold Rider in check, propelling the Flames to a 3-1 victory over the Broncs, 3-1, in the third game of the Liberty Invitational, Saturday afternoon at the Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Liberty starting pitcher Parker Bean allowed one run on four hits over the first six innings to run his record to 2-1 on the year. The freshman right-hander struck out five and walked two batters.
Relievers Jared Lyons and Ashton Perritt then retired the final nine batters of the contest to close out the Flames' win. Lyons pitched two scoreless innings, while Perritt sat down the Broncs in order in the ninth to record his fourth save of the year.
Designated hitter Becker Sankey had two hits and a RBI. He also scored for the Flames.
With the win, Liberty extends its winning streak to three and improves to 6-5 on the year. The Flames defeated the Ball State Cardinals, 13-0, earlier in the day. Rider falls to 2-4.
Liberty struck for two runs in the home half of the third inning. Shortstop Clay Kernanen singled through the right side of the infield and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Perritt to open the frame. Three batters later, catcher Danny Grauer plated Kernanen with a two-out single for a 1-0 edge. Sankey followed by lining a run-scoring double into the left field corner to give the Flames a 2-0 lead.
The Flames added a run in the fifth. With two outs, Sankey singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Third baseman Dalton Britt, who had four RBIs earlier in Liberty's win over Ball State, single to right field to score Sankey for a 3-0 advantage.
Rider broke through for a run in the seventh. Designated hitter Ken Kramer and second baseman Greg Fazio led off the inning with back-to-back singles. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners into scoring position, Kramer came home with the Broncs' lone run on a groundout by right fielder Brian Donnelly, cutting Liberty's advantage to what proved to be the final score of 3-1.
Rider starter Zach Mawson drops to 1-1 on the season. He gave up three runs on seven hits over six innings. He struck out one and walked four batters.
Liberty collected seven hits the contest.
The Flames will conclude play in the Liberty Invitational at the Liberty Baseball Stadium, tomorrow. Liberty will host Ball State in game five of the tournament at noon. Later in the afternoon, the Flames will square off with the Rider Broncs at 3 p.m.