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Liberty's Winning Streak Ends at Maryland
The Maryland Terrapins halted the Liberty Flames eight-game winning streak with an 8-3 victory, Wednesday afternoon at Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium. The Terrapins used a five-run fifth inning to break open a 2-2 contest, en route to the victory.
Liberty falls to 22-8 on the season. The Flames' have won a season-high eight games in a row, twice during the year. Maryland moves to 18-8.
The host Terrapins jumped out to a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first inning. Center fielder Charlie White singled back through the middle to open the inning and stole second base. After second baseman Brandon Lowe walked, he and White executed a double steal to move into scoring position. LaMonte Wade followed with a sacrifice fly to score White for an early edge.
Liberty knotted the contest in the top of the third. With two out, center fielder Ashton Perritt walked and stole second base. Right fielder Will Shepherd followed by lining a single into left field, plating Perrit to tie the contest at 1-1.
In the home half of the third, Maryland went back in front on back-to-back two out doubles. With two away, first baseman LaMonte Wade doubled into the left-center field gap and scored on a double off the left field wall by designated hitter Kyle Convissar for a 2-1 edge.
Liberty benefitted from a two-out Maryland error to score a run in the fourth. Dalton Britt reached when Terps left fielder Michael Montville dropped the shortstop's fly ball to continue the inning. After Britt stole second base, first baseman Alex Close ripped a RBI double into left field to tie the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, Maryland loaded the bases with one out. However, Liberty starter Jared Lyons was able to retire the next two batters to end the scoring threat.
The Terrapins plated five runs in the sixth inning to open up a 7-2 advantage. Left fielder Michael Montville and third baseman Mike Rescigno walked to open the frame. Catcher Nick Cieri then loaded the bases, reaching on a sacrifice bunt on which the Flames failed in an attempt to get Montville at third base. Shortstop Jose Cuas followed with a sacrifice fly for a 3-2 lead.
Two batters later, Lowe was hit by a pitch by Liberty reliever Michael Stafford to once again load the bases. After a wild pitch allowed the second run of the inning to score, a two-run single by Wade upped the Terrapins' advantage to 6-2. Convissar followed with a single for a 7-2 lead.
After Maryland added a run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly, Liberty scored a run in the top of the ninth. Jake Kimble, who entered the game as the Flames center fielder in the eighth, reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a balk. Kimble then moved to third base on a passed ball and score on a sacrifice fly by Close for the final score of 8-3.
Lyons falls to 2-1 on the year. The left-hander allowed five runs on five hits over five-plus innings. He struck out six batters and walked five.
Maryland starter Jake Drossner improves to 3-0. The left-hander gave up two runs on three hits over six innings. He struck out nine batters and walked two.
Liberty collected five hits in the contest. Maryland had nine hits.
Liberty returns home to start a three-game Big South series with the VMI Keydets, Friday. First pitch for the series opener is scheduled for 7 p.m.