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Liberty Runs Win Streak to Five Games with 9-1 Win Over Kent State
Behind another strong outing by their pitching staff, the Liberty Flames ran their winning streak to a season-high five games, defeating the Kent State Golden Flashes, 9-1, Sunday afternoon at the Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Flames starting pitcher Carson Herndon gave up one run on six hits over six innings to move 2-1 on the season. He struck out a season-high eight batters and did not walk a Kent State hitter. Three Liberty relievers followed Herndon, pitching one scoreless inning each in the victory.
Liberty moves to 11-6 on the season. With the win, Liberty sweeps the three-game series between the two teams this weekend. Kent State drops to 7-6 on the year.
In addition to recording five consecutive victories, the Flames have won eight out of their last nine contests. During the stretch, Liberty has scored 59 runs (6.6 runs/game), while Flames' pitching has held opponents to 15 runs (1.7 runs/game).
Liberty jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, shortstop Dalton Britt singled and moved to third base on a double by catcher Danny Grauer. After third baseman Dylan Allen walked to load the bases, center fielder Ashton Perritt ripped a double to the center field warning track, plating Britt and Grauer for a 2-0 edge. Allen then scored on a ground out by left fielder Nick Lacik for a 3-0 advantage. Right fielder Will Shepherd followed with a single through the left side of the infield to give the Flames a four-run lead.
Kent State plated its lone run of the game in the top of the third. Left fielder Troy Summers led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on an infield single by center fielder Alex Miklos. Two batters later, Summers scored on a double down the left field line by right fielder T.J. Sutton to make it, 4-1, Flames.
Liberty answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Designated hitter Becker Sankey singled and first baseman Alex Close walked to open the frame. After both runners moved into scoring position on a grounder by Britt, Sankey scored on a wild pitch and Close plated a run on a passed ball for a 6-1 lead.
The Flames added three runs in the sixth. With one out Lacik lined a double down the right field line, advanced to third on a ground out by right fielder Will Shepherd and came home with the first run of the inning on a wild pitch. The next four Liberty hitters followed with singles to push across two more runs, upping its advantage to what proved to be the final score of 9-1.
Kent State pitcher Andy Ravel drops to 1-1 on the season. He was roughed up for six runs on five hits over the first two innings. He walked four batters, while striking out two.
Liberty collected 12 hits. Four Flames, Britt, Perritt, Sankey and Seiz had two hits apiece in the contest. Kent State had eight hits. First baseman Cody Koch and third baseman Zarley Zalweski each had two hits for the Golden Flashes.
Liberty travels to Elon, N.C., for a contest with the Elon Phoenix, Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.