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Liberty Extends Win Streak to Six with 4-2 Win at Elon
Left-hander Jared Lyons pitched seven strong innings, helping power the Liberty Flames to their sixth straight win, a 4-2 victory over the Elon Phoenix, Tuesday evening at Latham Park.
Lyons runs his record to 2-0 on the season. The left-hander allowed two runs, one earned, over seven innings. He struck out six batters and walked one, the first walk he has allowed since an appearance against Ohio at the Battle of the Beach on Feb. 22. The southpaw retired 10 out of 11 batters from the final out of the third until the top of the seventh inning.
It is the second straight outing and the third time in his career that Lyons has gone seven innings.
Liberty improves to 12-6 on the year. The Flames have also won nine out of their last 10 games. Elon falls to 11-6 on the season.
Elon struck for the game's first run in the bottom of the third. Left fielder Danny Crowe singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Will Leathers. Three batters later, first baseman Casey Jones dropped a single into left field to score Crowe for a 1-0 edge.
After leaving seven men on base through the first three innings, Liberty plated two runs in the fourth. Center fielder Ashton Perritt dropped a single into center field to lead off the top of the frame and advanced to second as left fielder Nick Lacik drew a walk. After both runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, Perritt came home with the first run of the inning on a ground out by right fielder Will Shepherd to tie the contest at 1-1. Lacik then scored on a two-out throwing error by Elon third baseman Leathers on a grounder by second baseman Ryan Seiz for a 2-1 edge.
Liberty stretched its lead in the seventh. Seiz reached on a two-base throwing error by Phoenix first baseman Jones on a grounder in the hole to open the inning. Designated hitter Becker Sankey followed with a fielder's choice grounder on which Elon failed to get an out. After the next two Flames flew out, catcher Danny Grauer greeted new Phoenix relief pitcher Grant Fisher to the game by ripping a double to the right-center field warning track, cashing in both runners for a 4-1 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Elon took advantage of two Liberty errors to plate a run. With one out, catcher Chris Hall reached on a fielding error by Flames second baseman Seiz and moved all the way to third base on an errant pickoff attempt by Liberty's Lyons. Two batters later, Crowe produced the run with a two-out single, slicing the Flames' lead to 4-2.
In the ninth inning, Elon loaded the bases with one out, but Liberty reliever Perritt struck out the next two batters to close out the victory and earn his sixth save of the year.
Elon starting pitcher Tyler Manez falls to 0-3 on the season. He allowed two runs on five hits over 3 2/3 innings. He struck out two and walked three batters
Each team collected seven hits in the contest. Grauer and Shepherd had two hits apiece for the Flames. Crowe and designated hitter Danny Lynch had two hits each for the Phoenix.
Due to high winds and inclement weather expected for Charlotte, N.C., Liberty's game tomorrow at Charlotte has been canceled. Liberty will next open Big South Conference play by hosting the Campbell Fighting Camels for a three-game weekend series at Liberty Baseball Stadium. Friday's series opener is scheduled for 3 p.m.