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Liberty Falls to Old Dominion, 9-7

March 5, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Cody Brown had three hits and three RBIs for Liberty Wednesday.

Cody Brown had three hits and three RBIs for Liberty Wednesday.

The Old Dominion Monarchs erased a 6-4 Liberty advantage with three runs in the seventh inning and two more in the eighth for a 9-7 win over the Flames, Wednesday afternoon, at Worthington Stadium.

With the loss, Liberty falls to 6-3 on the season, while the victory moves Old Dominion to 5-4 on the year. The contest was the first meeting between the two Virginia clubs at Worthington Stadium since the opening game of the 2005 season.

Old Dominion opened the contest with three runs in its first at bat. Center fielder Jimmy Miles doubled to lead off the game and scored on a two-base throwing error by Flames' starter Steven Evans (Fr., LHP, Amherst, Va.) on a bunt by Max Most. Brian Cipolla then lifted a sacrifice fly to left to plate Most for a quick 2-0 Monarch lead. Designated hitter David Burns followed with a solo home run over the right-center field wall, his second of the season, to give Old Dominion a 3-0 lead.

Liberty sliced the Monarch advantage to one, 3-2, in the bottom of the second inning. Aaron Grijalva (Sr., 1B, Redlands, Calif.) doubled to the bottom of the wall in right-center field and advanced to third base on a single by Doug Bream (Fr., LF, Elizabethtown, Pa.). Cody Brown (Jr., 3B, Boca Raton, Fla.) then cashed in Grijalva with a sacrifice fly for the Flames' first run of the game. Later in the frame, Tommy Bussey (Jr., 2B, Boynton Beach, Fla.), who had reached on a single, scored on a RBI single by Kenneth Negron (Jr., CF, Kingwood, Texas).

In the third, both teams plated runs. Miles singled and stole second and third base. Two batters later, Cipolla lifted another sacrifice fly for a 4-2 Old Dominion lead.

Liberty came back in the bottom of the frame with four runs to take a 6-4 advantage. P.K. Keller (Sr., RF, Clearwater, Fla.) split the center fielder and the right fielder with a liner to the gap to open the Flames' half of the third inning. Two batters later, Bream dropped a double inside the left line to put Liberty runners on second and third. Brown followed with a single through the left side of the infield to deliver both runners and tie the game at 4-4.

After a walk to Bussey, a fielding error by Monarch shortstop Chris Buss on a ground ball up the middle by Aaron Phillips (Sr., SS, Claremore, Okla.) allowed Brown to come around to score and give Liberty a 5-4 lead. Bussey later scored on Errol Hollinger's (Jr., C, Upland, Calif.) fielder's choice ground ball for a 6-4 advantage.

Old Dominion went ahead for good in the game in the seventh inning. The first three Monarch hitters of the frame reached to load the bases. Burns then plated Miles, who singled to open the inning, with the first run of the frame with a ground ball out. Next batter Anthony Shawler then doubled inside the bag at third base for two more runs and a 7-6 Monarch lead.

In the eighth inning, Old Dominion upped its advantage to 9-6 on a Most RBI double and a Cipolla run-scoring single. Liberty added a run in the bottom half of the inning on a RBI ground out by Hollinger for the final score of 9-7.

Liberty starter Evans took the loss to drop to 0-1 on the season. In his first start in a Flames' uniform, the left-hander yielded seven runs, six earned, on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. Old Dominion reliever Daniel Abdalla, the second of three Monarch hurlers, ran his record to 1-0. He allowed one run on three hits in 5 1/3 innings of relief. Ryan Bergh picked up his first save of the year with a scoreless 1 1/3 innings.

Brown had three hits and drove in three runs for the Flames, while Negron had three hits and a RBI. Miles paced Old Dominion with four hits and scored four times.

Liberty will host Army this weekend at Worthington Stadium in a three-game series. The series opens Friday with first pitch slated for 3 p.m.