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Blue Squad Takes Liberty Fall World Series with Extra-Inning Win
Rusty Lajoie scored the winning run in the top of the eighth inning, and then pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the frame, as the Blue team defeated the Red team, 8-7 in extra innings Sunday. The victory in game five of the Liberty Fall World Series enabled the Blue squad to capture the series three games to two.
With the score knotted at 7-7, Lajoie (Fr., RHP, Chesapeake, Va.) singled down the left-field line to open the top of the eighth for the Blue squad. After a walk to Tommy Bussey (Jr., 2B/RHP, Boynton Beach, Fla.), Garrett Young (Sr., OF, Fountain Valley, Calif.) singled sharply up the middle to load the bases with one out. Two batters later, shortstop Aaron Phillips (Sr., Claremore, Okla.) beat out an infield hit, scoring Lajoie for an 8-7 Blue team advantage.
In the bottom of the inning, the Red loaded the bases with no outs. However, Lajoie struck out the next two hitters, before inducing a ground out to secure the victory for the Blue and the series win.
Lajoie allowed one run on three hits in two innings of relief in the victory.
Phillips and Bussey paced the Blue team's offensive attack with two hits each in the contest. Phillips and Aaron Grijalva (Sr., 1B, Redlands, Calif.) drove in two RBIs apiece in the contest, while Bussey and Doug Bream (Fr., OF, Elizabethtown, Pa.) scored two runs each for the Blue squad.
P.K. Keller (Sr., OF, Clearwater, Fla.) led the Red team with two doubles, driving in a run and scoring another. The senior outfielder finished the five-game series hitting .429 (6-for-14) with five doubles and four runs scored.
On Saturday, the two teams split a doubleheader to set up the decisive fifth game. Coach Jeremiah Boles' Red squad took a pitcher's duel in Game 3, 2-0, while Coach Nick Schnabel's Blue team rebounded in the nightcap, 5-3, to tie the series at 2-2.
In game three, Red starter Tyler Light (Jr., RHP, San Bernardino, Calif.) needed just 76 pitches in tossing a seven-inning, complete-game shutout. The right-hander faced the minimum 21 batters, allowing three hits, while striking out three and walking none.
Blue starter Chase Vaden (So., LHP, Lynch Station, Va.) and reliever Jimmy Miller (Fr., RHP, Hummelstown, Pa.) combined for a no-hitter in the setback, as the Red squad used back-to-back walks in the fourth inning to push across their runs. Vaden struck out four and walked three in four innings, while Miller struck out one and walked one in two frames of relief.
In game four of the series, the Blue team broke open a scoreless game in the top of the fifth by plating four runs on three-consecutive two-out hits en route to a 5-3 win, forcing the deciding game five.
Both starters, the Red's Steven Evans (Fr., RHP, Amherst, Va.) and Blue's Andrew Wilson (Jr., RHP, Cary, N.C.), cruised through the first four innings, before the Blue team's four-run uprising in the fifth.
Phillips walked to begin the top of the fifth frame for the Blue and later, plated the game's first run. After a double by Jeff Jefferson (Fr., OF, Danville, Va.), Matt Bona (Fr., INF/OF, Vero Beach, Fla.), Bussey and Bream collected three-straight two-out hits to give the Blue team a lead it never relinquished in the victory.
A two-run double by catcher Errol Hollinger (Jr., C, Upland, Calif.) plated Keller and Tim Rotolo (Jr., OF, Wichita, Kan.) to get the Red squad on the scoreboard in the sixth inning.
Liberty's Fall World Series concludes Fall Practice for the Flames. Liberty opens its 2008 season on Feb. 22 against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Clearwater Invitational.
Blue wins series, 3-2.2B - Red - Bussey 2, Grijalva, Phillips. Blue - Keller 2, Brown, Teufel 2.
RBI- Red - Phillips 2, Grijalva 2. Blue - Keller, Hollinger, Teufel
Series tied 2-2.
2B - Red - Bussey, Young, Jefferson. Blue - Keller, Hollinger.
RBI- Red - Bream, Jefferson, Bona, Phillips. Blue - Hollinger 2.
Red leads series, 2-1.
RBI- Red - Brown, Giammaresi.