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No. 30 Liberty Falls at North Carolina, 3-1
The North Carolina Tar Heels used three two-out runs to defeat the No. 30 Liberty Flames, 3-1, Wednesday evening at Boshamer Stadium.
The Tar Heels plated two-out runs in the second, third and fourth innings, while four North Carolina pitchers held the Flames to four hits on the night.
Liberty falls to 32-10 on the year. The setback snaps a three-game Flames win streak. North Carolina improves to 24-18 on the season.
North Carolina struck for the first run of the contest with two outs in the bottom of the second inning. Center fielder Skye Bolt opened the frame with a walk. After the next two batters flied out, Bolt stole second base. Two batters later, designated hitter Adrian Chacon singled through the left side of the infield to plate Bolt for a 1-0 lead.
Liberty tied the game in the top of the third. Center fielder Ashton Perritt drew a walk to lead off the inning and stole second. Perritt then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by right fielder Will Shepherd and scored on a ground out by third baseman Dylan Allen to knot the game briefly at 1-1.
In the bottom of the inning, North Carolina took advantage of a Liberty error to go back in front on the scoreboard. With one out, second baseman Alex Raburn walked and moved to second on a fly to deep center field by third baseman Landon Lassiter. Raburn then was able to score on a throwing error by Flames shortstop Dalton Britt on a ground ball by Bolt to give the Tar Heels a 2-1 edge.
North Carolina extended its advantage with another two-out run in the fourth inning. With one out, Chacon singled. Two batters later, shortstop Michael Russell lined a RBI double into the right field gap to give the Tar Heels a 3-1 lead.
Liberty starting pitcher Jared Lyons falls to 2-3 on the season. The left-hander allowed three runs on five hits over five innings. The first of three pitchers for the Flames, he struck out four and walked three batters.
Spencer Trayner, the second of four North Carolina pitchers in the contest, moves to 3-2 on the year. He pitched three scoreless innings, allowing one hit. He struck out two batters and walked one. Reilly Hovis pitched the final two innings to earn his fourth save of the year.
North Carolina had six hits in the contest. Chacon had two hits for the Tar Heels.
Liberty returns home, Friday. The Flames will host the UNC Asheville Bulldogs in the first contest of a three-game Big South series. First pitch at Liberty Baseball Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m.