Flames NewsFlames Home > Baseball Home > News
No. 21 Liberty Downs Radford in Game 2, 9-4
The No. 21 Liberty Flames built an 8-2 advantage during the middle innings, en route to a 9-4 victory over Radford in game two of a doubleheader at RU Baseball Stadium, Friday.
Liberty plated a run or more in the third, fourth and fifth innings to build a six-run cushion. Three doubles plated five of their eight runs during the span.
Liberty achieves a split of the doubleheader, as the Flames dropped game one, 4-1. The Flames improve to 39-13 overall and 23-2 in Big South Conference play. The win, Liberty moves to within one game of recording their fourth 40-win season in program history. Two of Liberty's previous three 40-win seasons have come under current Flames head coach Jim Toman.
Radford falls to 31-21 overall and 16-10 in conference action this season.
After two scoreless innings, both teams plated runs in the third inning. Liberty struck for three runs in the top of the inning. Third baseman Dylan Allen started the inning with a one-out single and advanced to second when center fielder Ashton Perritt walked. After both runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, left fielder Nick Lacik lined an opposite field single into left field to plate Allen with the contest's first run. Right fielder Will Shepherd followed with a double off the left field wall, scoring Perritt and Lacik for a 3-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the inning, Radford countered with two runs. Second baseman Josh Gardiner walked and right fielder Aaron Scoville singled to open the frame. A ground ball by third baseman Alexander Lee moved both runners into scoring position. Two batters later, shortstop Hunter Higgerson lined a two-out, two-run single into left field to make it, 3-2 Liberty.
Liberty added to its advantage with a two-out run in the fourth. With two away, Allen was hit by a pitch and advanced to second when Perritt was hit by a pitch. Lacik followed with a single back through the middle of the infield to plate Allen for a 4-2 lead.
The Flames broke the game open with four runs in fifth, as Liberty batted around in the frame. Second baseman Ryan Seiz and designated hitter Becker Sankey reached on Highlander errors to lead off the inning. After shortstop Dalton Britt walked to load the bases, first baseman Alex Close ripped a two-run double into the left field corner, upping Liberty's advantage to 6-2. Two batters later, Allen scored both runners with a double into the right field corner for an 8-2 lead.
Radford cut into the Liberty advantage in the seventh. Center fielder Luke Wise walked to open the inning and was aboard ahead of a home run to right field by Gardiner, slicing the Flames' advantage to 8-4.
Liberty tacked on a run in the eighth. Shepherd reached on a wild pitch on a strike three and Seiz singled to put Flames on the corners to led off the frame. Sankey followed with a sacrifice fly to produce Shepherd for a 9-4 advantage.
Liberty starter Blake Fulghum allowed two runs on four hits over the first four innings. The left-hander struck out three and walked five batters.
Reliever Shawn Clowers, who took over for Fulghum in the fifth inning, moves to 8-0 on the season. The first of three Liberty relievers in the contest, he pitched two scoreless innings, striking out one batter and walking one.
Radford starting pitcher Dylan Thomas drops to 6-4 on the year. The right-hander gave up three runs on three hits over three innings. He struck out two and walked two batters.
Liberty collected eight hits in the contest. Lacik had two hits and two RBIs for the Flames. Fellow Flame Allen also collected two hits, had a RBI and scored two RBIs. Radford managed five hits.
Liberty and Radford will meet again tomorrow in their series finale and the final regular season for both teams tomorrow at RU Baseball Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.