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Despite Four Hits by Perritt, No. 21 Liberty Edged by Elon, 7-6
Despite four hits and three RBIs by Liberty center fielder Ashton Perritt, the Elon Phoenix edged the No. 21 Flames, 7-6, Tuesday night in 2014's final regular season home game at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Perritt went 4-for-4 with a home run and drove in three runs in the contest. It was the junior's first four-hit game of his career. In addition, Perritt's three RBIs tied a career high.
Liberty falls to 38-12 on the year. The Flames finish the regular season with a 22-5 record at Liberty Baseball Stadium. Elon moves to 27-25 on the season.
After a scoreless first three innings, both teams struck for two runs in the fourth. In the top of the inning, the visiting Phoenix loaded the bases with one out and scored their two runs of the frame on a single by third baseman Nick Zammarelli.
In the bottom of the frame, second baseman Ryan Seiz walked and designated hitter Becker Sankey singled to open the inning. After the next batters were retired, left fielder Andrew Yacyk lined a double into the left-center field gap to plate both runners and tie the game at 2-2.
Each team pushed across single runs in the fifth. Elon scored its run without a hit. After loading the bases with one out on walks, right fielder Quinn Bower walked to force in a run to make it, 3-2.
Liberty answered in the bottom of the inning, as Perritt hit his first home run of the year. The center fielder led off the frame by ripping a 2-2 pitch over the left-center field wall and off the scoreboard to once again knot the game, this time at 3-3.
lon took the lead for good in the top of the sixth. With the bases loaded and one out, Phoenix center fielder Ryan Cooper connected for a grand slam, his third home run of the season, giving Elon a 7-3 advantage.
In the bottom of the inning, Liberty countered with two runs to close its deficit to 7-5. With one out, Sankey was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a single by first baseman Alex Close. After the next two batters were retired, shortstop Dalton Britt lined a single back through the diamond to plate Sankey with the first run of the home half of the sixth. Perritt followed with a RBI single to slice the Phoenix lead to 7-5.
Liberty moved to within one run in the eighth. A two-out single by Perritt plated catcher Danny Grauer, who opened the inning with a double, to cut the Elon advantage to what proved to be the final score of 7-6.
Phoenix reliever Ryan Pennell retired the Flames in order in the ninth to close out the victory for Elon.
Liberty reliever Cody Albright drops to 0-1 on the year. The fourth of six Flames to pitch in the game, Albright gave up four runs on three hits over 1 1/3 innings. He struck out one and walked two batters.
Liberty pitchers combined to strike out 11 and walked eight batters.
Elon reliever Lucas Bakker, the third of six pitchers in the contest for the Phoenix, moves to 7-3 on the year. The right-hander allowed one run on one hit in one inning of work. Pernell records his 12th save of the year, giving up one run on three hits over three innings. He struck out four batters.
Liberty outhit Elon, 12-8. Grauer had two hits for the Flames. First baseman Casey Jones, who carries a .422 batting average, collected three hits for the Phoenix.
Liberty will close out its regular season schedule, this weekend. The Flames will travel to Radford, Va., for a three-game series with the Radford Highlanders. The series opens Thursday at the RU Baseball Stadium at 6:30 p.m.