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Gaillard's Eighth-Inning Double Leads Flames to 4-2, Game One Win Over Buccaneers
Liberty moves to 22-14 overall and 4-3 in the Big South with the victory, while Charleston Southern drops to 14-26 overall and 1-9 in the Big South.
With the contest tied at 2-2 in the home half of the eighth inning and a runner aboard, Tim Nanry (Sr., DH, Rochester, N.Y.) lined a high drive to right field, which the Buccaneer outfielder dropped, allowing both runners to move into scoring position. After a fielder's choice grounder by Aaron Grijalva (R-Jr., 1B, Redlands, Calif.) put runners at the corners with two outs and the score still knotted, Gaillard (Sr., SS, Taylors, S.C.) ripped a double to right, which dropped at the base of the wall, bringing home both Flames for the 4-2 win.
After a scoreless first three innings, Charleston Southern took advantage of two Liberty errors to take a 1-0 advantage in the fourth. Anthony Hayes singled with one out and moved to second on a fielding miscue by the Flames' shortstop on a grounder by Justin Fyle. David Perkins lined a single to left to load the bases with one out, and the Buccaneers tallied the first run of the day, when a bouncer by Sean Doherty was mishandled. However, Liberty starter Dustin Umberger was able to avert further trouble as he struck out the next hitter and induced the final batter of the inning to pop out with the bases full.
Liberty even the score with a run in the fifth frame. Gaillard was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by David Giammaresi (R-Jr., 3B, Coral Springs, Fla.). The Flames shortstop then continued to third as Errol Hollinger (So., C, Upland, Calif.) reached on a fielding error by the second baseman and knotted the game at one apiece on a single by Kenneth Negron (So., 2B, Kingwood, Texas).
Garrett Young (Jr., CF, Fountain Valley, Calif.) opened Liberty's next at bat with a walk. Nanry followed with a double to right field to advance Young to third. Gaillard then lofted a fly to right to plate the runner on third and put the Flames up, 2-1.
In the top half of the eighth, Stephen Herzog singled to lead off the frame and advanced to second on a bunt. After Herzog stole third, Perkins dropped a single into right field to bring him home to tie score at 2-2. Tim John (Sr., RHP, Linwood, N.J.) was then summoned from the bullpen and struck out the next two hitters to keep the game deadlocked going into the decisive bottom of the inning.
Liberty starter Dustin Umberger (So., RHP, Hummelstown, Pa.) had his longest outing of the season, allowing two runs on four hits over 7 1/3 innings. Ryan Page (Jr., LHP, Cranberry Twp., Pa.) gave up two hits in the eighth, before John entered and retired all five batters he faced to even his record at 1-1 on the year. Charleston Southern starter D.J. Throneburg took the loss to fall to 2-8.
No Flames had more than one hit in the game, although Gaillard drove in a season-high three runs for Liberty. Herzog and Perkins had two safeties apiece for the Buccaneers.