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Hawks Edge Flames, 3-2, in 11 Innings to Take Both Ends of Twinbill
The loss drops the Flames to 17-12 overall and 3-3 in the Big South Conference on the season, while the Hawks move to 11-7-1 and 0-0 in the Northeast Conference.
After Liberty knotted the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the contest to extra innings, Monmouth went back on top in the 11th. Dennis doubled past the first base bag and into the right field corner to open the frame. He moved to third on a ground out to the shortstop and then broke the deadlock by scoring Callazo's single. Hawk reliever Matt Frazier then got the Flames to go in order for the game two victory.
Monmouth began the game with two runs in the top of the game's opening frame. With one out, Kyle Higgins doubled to the left field corner and Andy Meyers walked. Both runners then successfully completed a double steal to put runners at second and third base. The next Hawk batter, Shawn Tetters, followed with a two-run single to right field for a 2-0 lead.
Liberty countered in the bottom of the first inning. Kenneth Negron (So., 2B, Kingwood, Texas) reached on a fielding error by the Monmouth third baseman to lead off the frame and advanced to second on a ground out. Garrett Young (Jr., CF, Fountain Valley, Calif.) followed with a single to put runners at the corners for the Flames. Negron then scored the first Liberty run of the game on a fielder's choice by Tim Nanry (Sr., DH, Rochester, N.Y.) to slice the Hawks' edge to 2-1.
Pitching took over as Monmouth starter Brett Brach and Frazier and Liberty starter Dustin Umberger (So., RHP, Hummelstown, Pa.) and Tim John (Sr., RHP, Linwood, N.J.) held both sides off the board until the bottom of the ninth inning.
In the ninth, the Flames rallied to tie the score at 2-2. Pinch hitter Derek Bennion (Sr., OF, Snohmish, Wash.) singled to center field with one out. Negron followed with a high drive off the right field fence for a double to chase home Bennion with the tying run. However, Hawk reliever Frazier was able to strand Liberty runners at the corners to extend the contest into extra innings.
Umberger pitched 5 1/3 innings for the Flames, giving up two runs on seven hits, while striking out five and walking two. With one on and one out in the sixth, the right-hander gave way to John, who pitched a scoreless 3 2/3 innings, yielding two hits. Ryan Page (Jr., LHP, Cranberry Twp., Pa.) came on in the 10th inning and took his first loss of the year, dropping to 2-1. He yielded one run on four hits in two innings of work.
Hawk hurler Frazier allowed one run on four hits over five innings of relief to run his record to 2-0. He and Brach held Liberty to only seven hits over 11 innings.
Negron and Shawn Teufel (So., 1B, Tequesta, Fla.) had two hits apiece in game two of the twinbill for the Flames. Brett Holland, who pinch hit in game one, had three hits and his teammates, Collazo and Higgins, each had two hits for the Hawks.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow in a single game at Worthington Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.