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Three Pitchers Combined to Shut Out VMI, 4-0
Three Liberty Flames combined to shut out the VMI Keydets, 4-0, in the second game of a three-game Big South series, Saturday afternoon at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Liberty moves to 10-1 in Big South play and 23-8 overall. The Flames have won 10 out of their last 11 games. VMI drops to 6-4 in conference and 16-12 overall.
Herndon and VMI starting pitcher Connor Bach matched scoreless innings until the fifth. Liberty took advantage of a Keydets' miscue to plate its first run of the contest. Catcher Danny Grauer reached on a two-base error to open the inning, as VMI first baseman Cameron Walter dropped the catcher's pop-up into shallow right field. Two batters later, center fielder Ashton Perritt lined a single into center field, scoring Grauer for a 1-0 edge.
The Flames carried the one-run advantage into the eighth, before breaking the contest open with three runs. With one out, Keydet reliever Jonathan Kelley walked both second baseman Ryan Seiz and designated hitter Becker Sankey. Two batters later, first baseman Alex Close lined a two-out single off new VMI reliever Berkley Hawkins to plate Seiz for a two-run advantage. Grauer followed with a RBI single to make it, 3-0. Left fielder Nick Lacik, who entered as a defensive replacement in the top of the inning, the double down the left field line for what proved to be the final score of 4-0.
Herndon moves to 5-1 on the season. The right-hander left due to a possbile injury with two out in the fifth inning. He gave up three hits, striking out six and walking three batters.
Bach falls to 2-5 on the year. The left-hander allowed one unearned run on three hits over six innings. The first of five VMI pitchers on the day, he struck out eight and walked three batters.
Liberty had six hits in the contest. Six different Flames had one hit in the game.
Liberty and VMI will meet in the series finale, tomorrow at Liberty Baseball Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.