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Liberty Downs High Point Behind Herndon
Liberty right-hander Carson Herndon pitched six scoreless innings and catcher Danny Grauer drove in three runs, as the Flames defeated the High Point Panthers, 8-1, Saturday afternoon in the middle game of a three-game Big South series at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Herndon held the Panthers in check during the first six innings, before departing in the seventh. The right-hander runs his record to 3-1 on the year, allowing one run on three hits over six-plus innings. He struck out four batters and walked one.
Grauer knocked in three runs with two hits, a two-run double and an inside the park home run to extend his career-long hit streak to 12 games. His hit streak is the longest by a Flame this season.
Liberty moves to 4-1 in Big South Conference play and 17-7 overall on the season. The Flames have won three straight contests and 11 out of their last 12 games. High Point falls to 2-3 in conference action and 12-10 overall.
Liberty struck for a 1-0 lead in the second inning. With runners on first and second and two outs, center fielder Ashton Perritt dropped a RBI single into right field, plating a run for a Flames' advantage.
In its next at bat, the third inning, Liberty scored three runs to stretch its lead. Right fielder Will Shepherd drew a one-out walk and advanced to third base on double to right field by second baseman Ryan Seiz. After designated hitter Becker Sankey was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Britt lifted a sacrifice fly to bring in Shepherd to make it, 2-0. Two batters later, Grauer ripped a ground-rule double into the left-center field gap, scoring two runs for a 4-0 advantage.
The Flames added a run in the sixth. Grauer hit an inside the park home run for a 5-0 lead.
High Point scored its lone run of the contest in the top of the seventh. Center fielder Tim Mansfield and pinch hitter Alex Gross sandwiched singles around first baseman Spencer DeAngelis being hit by a pitch to load the bases to open the inning. Mansfield then scored on a double play ground out.
Liberty added three more runs in the bottom of the inning. Left fielder Nick Lacik walked and Shepherd singled to begin the frame. After both runners moved up a base on a ground out by Seiz, Sankey lined a double down the left field line to plate both runners for a 7-1 advantage. Sankey then moved to third base on a single by Britt and scored on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Alex Close for what proved to be the final score of 8-1.
High Point starting pitcher Mike Krumm evens his record at 3-3. He gave up five runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out one and walked four batters.
Liberty collected eight hits in the contest. Britt joined Grauer with two hits in the contest. The Flames shortstop extended his hit streak to a career-long 10 games.
High Point managed three hits on the afternoon.
Liberty and High Point wrap-up their Big South series, tomorrow afternoon at Liberty Baseball Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.