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Flames Bang Out 21 Hits in 18-2 Victory

March 2, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Aaron Grijalva had four hits including a two doubles and a triple in Liberty's win Sunday.

Aaron Grijalva had four hits including a two doubles and a triple in Liberty's win Sunday.

The Liberty Flames batted around in the first inning, scoring five times, and never looked back Sunday afternoon at Worthington Stadium. The homestanding Flames went on to pound out 21 hits in an 18-2 win over the Rider Broncs.

With the victory, Liberty takes the three-game series, 2-1, and moves to 6-1 on the season. Rider drops to 4-2 on the year.

The host Flames sent all nine batters to the plate in the first inning. After the first three hitters of the frame reached safely to load the bases, P.K. Keller (Sr., RF, Clearwater, Fla.) ripped a single inside the bag at third to plate two runs for an early 2-0 advantage. Aaron Grijalva (Sr., 1B, Redlands, Calif.) followed with a triple into the right-field corner, chasing home two more base runners for a 4-0 Liberty edge. Left fielder Doug Bream (Fr., Elizabethtown, Pa.) then delivered Grijalva with a RBI double for a 5-0 Flames lead.

Liberty added two more in the third inning to extend its lead to 7-0. After Grijalva doubled with one out and moved to third on a single by Bream, the senior scored on a fielder's choice ground ball by Tommy Bussey (Jr., 2B, Boynton Beach, Fla.). The Flames second baseman then swiped second base and was cashed in on a RBI single by third baseman Cody Brown (Jr., Boca Raton, Fla.).

In the fourth frame, Liberty tacked on three more runs on back-to-back RBI singles by Grijalva and Bream and a RBI single by Bussey.

After building a 9-0 advantage through four innings, Liberty went on to put four runs on the scoreboard in both the fifth and the seventh frames. A solo home run by catcher Errol Hollinger (Jr., Upland, Calif.) and back-to-back run-scoring doubles by Grijalva and Keller highlighted the scoring in the fifth. In the seventh, a bases-clearing triple by Bussey and a sacrifice fly by Brown provided the scoring.

Liberty starter David Stokes (Sr., RHP, Locust Grove, Okla.) gave the Flames another strong mound effort in his second start of the season to move to 2-0. After allowing a one-out first inning single, the right-hander did not yield another hit over the first six innings, striking out five and walking one. Rider starter Derek Caldwell took the loss to fall to 0-1 on the year. The first of six Bronc pitchers, Caldwell yielded seven runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings.

Liberty had 20 or more hits for the first time this season; with five Flames having two or more in the contest. Pacing the Liberty hit parade were Grijalva, who was 4-for-5 with four RBIs, four runs scored, two doubles and a triple, and Bream, who was 4-for-5 with a walk, two RBIs and a run scored. Hollinger collected three hits for the Flames, including his first round tripper of the season.

Bream hit .636 on the weekend with seven hits in 11 at bats, driving in four runs and scoring one. The Liberty newcomer leads the Flames with a .571 batting average and eight RBIs over the first seven games of the 2008 campaign.

Liberty travels to Richmond on Tuesday afternoon for a contest at VCU. Game time at the Diamond is scheduled for 3 p.m. The Flames then return home on Wednesday to face the Old Dominion Monarchs. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m.