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No. 22 Liberty Falls at No. 1 Virginia
Virginia right-hander Artie Lewicki pitched seven scoreless innings, as the No. 1 Cavaliers defeated the No. 22 Liberty Flames, 8-2, Wednesday evening at Davenport Stadium.
Lewicki held the Flames to one hit, a single by second baseman Ryan Seiz, during the first seven innings, allowing the host Cavaliers to build a 7-0 advantage.
Liberty drops to 35-11 on the season. Virginia moves to 38-9 on the year.
The host Cavaliers struck for the first two runs of the contest in the bottom of the second inning. Designated hitter Nick Howard was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by second Branden Cogswell. Third baseman Kenny Towns followed by lining a double down the left field line, plating Howard for a 1-0 advantage. Two batters later, catcher Nate Irving dropped a two-out single into left-center field to score Towns for a 2-0 lead.
Virginia added three runs in its next at bat. The Cavaliers loaded the bases with one out to open the home half of the third and after a Liberty pitching change, used a sacrifice fly by Cogswell to take a 3-0 edge. Towns followed with a two-run single to center field, upping Virginia lead to 5-0.
In the fourth, Virginia plated two more runs, scoring for the third consecutive inning. Right fielder Joe McCarthy scored Irving, who led off the frame with a double. Later in the inning, the Cavaliers used a double steal to plate another run for a 7-0 advantage.
Liberty broke through against Virginia reliever Connor Jones for two runs in the top of the eighth. With two outs, Jake Kimble, who entered the game in bottom of the sixth as a defensive replacement, walked and moved to second on a single by center fielder Ashton Perritt. Left fielder Nick Lacik followed by slicing a triple into the right-center field gap to make it, 7-2, Virginia.
The Cavaliers pushed across a run in the bottom of the inning. A single by first baseman Mike Papi scored Cogswell for what proved to be the final score of 8-2.
Liberty starting pitcher Jared Lyons falls to 2-4 on the season. The left-hander gave up five runs on five hits over 2 1/3 innings. The first of six Flames to pitch in the contest, he walked one batter.
Lewicki moves to 4-1 on the year. One of three Cavaliers to pitch in the contest, he struck out six batters and walked one.
Liberty collected four hits in the game, with Lacik's triple the only extra base hit for the Flames in the contest. Virginia had nine hits.
Liberty next hosts the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers for a three-game Big South series, this weekend. The series opens is Friday at Liberty Baseball Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.