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Balanced Attack Leads Flames Past Herd, 11-7, in Game One
With the victory, Liberty runs its record to 20-13 on the year. Marshall drops to 14-15.
The Herd for the second day in the row grabbed the early edge. Matt Helm was hit by a pitch to begin the third inning and advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch. He then scored on an infield hit by Brit Vincent to give Marshall a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth, the Thundering Herd opened a 5-0 advantage. After Brandon Casamassima led off the inning with a double off the left field line, Jeff Rowley followed with a home run to right field, his second of the season, to up the Marshall lead to 3-0. Thad Ledford made it three-straight hits for the Herd with a single. Liberty retired the next two batters, but Mason Chapman kept the frame alive with a single to center to plate Ledford. Chapman then scored on a single by Vincent.
In the bottom of the inning, Liberty would send 11 batters to the plate and use six hits to take a
6-5 lead. Garrett Young (Jr., CF, Fountain Valley, Calif.), Errol Hollinger (So., C, Upland, Calif.) and Tim Nanry (Sr., DH, Rochester, N.Y.) began the uprising with consecutive singles to load the bases. P. K. Keller (Jr., LF, Clearwater, Fla.) walked to force in the first Liberty run in the contest. Brown (R-So., 1B, Boca Raton, Fla.) followed with a single to score Hollinger and Nanry and cut the Marshall lead to 5-3. A sacrifice fly by Patrick Gaillard (Sr., SS, Taylors, S.C.) brought home Keller to make it, 5-4. The next batter, David Giammaresi (R-Jr., 3B, Coral Springs, Fla.), then doubled to down the right field line, chasing home Brown and knotting the score at 5-5. Two batters later, Young lifted a sacrifice fly to center to give Liberty a 6-5 advantage.
The Thundering Herd tied the contest at 6-6 in its at bat in the sixth, only to see the Flames go back in front in the bottom of the frame. Taking advantage of a lead off walk to Ledford, the Herd knotted the contest on a single by Chapman. In the home half of the frame, Liberty leadoff man Tommy Bussey (So., 2B, Boynton Beach, Fla.) walked and was lifted for pinch runner Derek Bennion (Sr., LF, Snohomish, Wash.) at first base. Advancing to second on a wild pitch and to third on a wild pitch, Young broke the deadlock with a sacrifice fly. Negron (So., OF/2B, Kingwood, Texas), who had singled and moved to second on Young's fly, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored the inning's second run on a single by Hollinger to put the Flames back on top, 8-6.
The teams swapped single runs in the seventh inning. Brandon Murphy hit a leadoff double and scored on single by Ledford for Marshall. Liberty countered as Giammaresi ripped a double into the left field corner to plate Keller, who opened the Flames' half of the frame with a walk.
In the eighth, Liberty added two insurance runs. Negron singled to lead off the inning and later, stole second with two outs. Nanry then single to chase him home and the next batter, Keller, singled to score Nanry for the final tally of 11-7.
Dustin Umberger (So., RHP, Hummelstown, Pa.) picked up the win for the Flames, giving up six runs on nine hits in over six innings to even his season's mark at 3-3. Ryan Page (Jr., LHP, Cranberry Twp., Pa.) pitched the final three innings, allowing one run on three hits to earn his fourth save of the year. Marshall starter Brian Christman took the loss to even his record at 3-3. The Herd hurler was roughed up for eight runs on 10 hits in five innings.
Besides Negron and Brown, Young, Keller and Giammaresi had two hits apiece for Liberty. Chapman, Vincent and Ledford each had two hits for Marshall.