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Sixth Inning Push Gives Liberty 5-1 Game One Victory Over Campbell
The Liberty Flames plated four runs in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie and pitchers Carson Herndon and Blake Fulghum carried a no-hitter into the eighth, en route to a 5-1 win over the Campbell Fighting Camels in game one of a Big South doubleheader at Liberty Baseball Stadium, Saturday.
Herndon and Fulghum combined to handcuff the Camels through the first seven innings. Herndon, who was lifted in the fifth for Fulghum, gave up a run, while striking out three and walking six batters during his four-plus innings of work.
Fulghum picks up the win in relief to run his record to 3-1 on the year. He gave up three hits over five scoreless innings. The left-hander struck out two and did not allow a walk.
Liberty moves to 2-0 in Big South action and 14-6 overall. The win extends the Flames' win streak to eight games and allows Liberty to take the series by winning the first two games of the three-game set. Campbell drops to 0-2 in conference play and 13-7 overall.
The Camels scored a run in the game's opening inning without recording a hit. Left fielder Danny Pardo and catcher Steven Leonard both walked to lead off the game and advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by first baseman Kyle Leady. Center fielder Matt Nadolski followed with a run-scoring groundout for a 1-0 edge.
Liberty evened the contest in the fourth. Second baseman Ryan Seiz walked and designated hitter Becker Sankey singled to open the inning. With runners on the corners after the next batter Dalton Britt grounded into a fielder choice, Seiz scored on a double steal to knot the contest at 1-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Flames plated four runs for what proved to be the final score of 5-1. Right fielder Will Shepherd began the inning with a single to left field and quickly came around to score on a double into the right field corner by Sankey.
After a single by Britt put runners on the corners, first baseman Alex Close doubled off Campbell reliever Ryan Thompson to give Liberty a 4-1 advantage. Two batters later, catcher Danny Grauer singled to produce the final run of the inning.
Fulghum took over from there, shutting down the Camels during the final three innings to seal the win. The senior retired the first eight batters he faced, before allowing the Campbell's first hit, a single by pitch hitter Clayton Brown to lead off the eighth.
Campbell starting pitcher Ryan Koopman falls to 2-1 on the year. He gave up four runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck three and walked four batters.
Liberty collected nine hits. Close, Grauer and Sankey each had two hits for Flames. Campbell had three.