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Liberty Sweeps Doubleheader from Kent State with 4-2 Win
Right fielder Will Shepherd plated third baseman Dylan Allen with the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, pushing the Liberty Flames past the Kent State Golden Flashes, 4-2, to complete a doubleheader sweep at Liberty Baseball Stadium, Saturday.
The Flames, who have won the first game earlier in the day, 6-2, received a strong outing from starting pitcher Parker Bean. The freshman right-hander allowed two runs on five hits during eight innings, his longest outing of his career. He struck out five batters and walked three.
Liberty moves to 10-6 on the season. The Flames have won four straight and seven out of their last eight contests. Kent State drops to 7-5 on the year.
The visiting Golden Flashes plated the game's first run in the top of the second. With two out, catcher Tommy Monnot singled to score designated hitter Zarley Zalewski, who led off the inning with walk, for a 1-0 edge.
Kent State added to its advantage in the top of the fourth with a run, only to see Liberty answer and tie the game in the bottom of the inning. With one out in the top of the frame, first baseman Cody Koch walked. Two batters later, Monnot doubled to plate Koch for a short-lived 2-0 lead.
Shepherd reached on an infield single, second baseman Ryan Seiz singled and catcher Becker Sankey walked to load the bases in the home half of the fourth. First baseman Alex Close followed with a sacrifice fly to cut the Kent State advantage to 2-1. Shortstop Dalton Britt then dropped a RBI single into right to knot the contest at 2-2.
Allen and Shepherd teamed up to put the Flames in front in the seventh. Third baseman Dylan Allen opened the inning by lining a double into right field and moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Ashton Perritt. Two batters later, Shepherd ripped a double inside the third base bag and down the line to plate Allen for a 3-2 advantage.
Liberty added an insurance run in the eighth. Close led off the inning with a double to center field and later, scored on a two-out single by Perritt for a 4-2 lead.
In the top of the ninth, Perritt came on to pitch a scoreless ninth to record his fifth save of the year and seal the Liberty victory.
Kent State starting pitcher Blake Lauer falls to 3-1 on the year. He gave up three runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
Liberty had eight hits in the contest. Seiz and Shepherd each collected two hits apiece for the Flames. Kent State collected six hits in the game. Monnot had two hits for the Golden Flashes.
During its last eight games, Liberty pitching has combined to allow only 14 runs.
Liberty will host Kent State in the final game of its three-game series tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.